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Full text of "A sister of Louis XVI, Marie-Clotilde de france, queen of Sardinia (1759-1802)"

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There has been of late a considerable production 
of historical memoirs and biographies, both in this 
country and on the Continent, mainly relating to the 
latter part of the eighteenth century and the French 
Revolution. This is no doubt due to the permanent 
interest of the general public in a period whose 
fateful connection with our own times, with their 
political tendencies and with their social problems, 
is increasingly realized, with satisfaction by many, 
with apprehension by some. We wish to know more 
of those days, so near to us, yet in many respects 
apparently so remote ; we are never tired of reading 
how the people of that period lived and spoke and 
dressed ; we copy their style of furniture (more or 
less successfully), since only very few can afford to 
possess real Louis XVI. tables and chairs ; we seek 
in the literature of the period for an explanation of 
the great Revolution; we read the lives of its chief 

V h 



men — great men few of them really were. But we 
rise from our reading not seldom unsatisfied, un- 
enlightened ; for most of those innumerable memoirs 
only "see in part and prophesy in part"; and in 
spite of the arduous labours of modern historians, we 
feel that the whole tale has not yet been told, the 
whole secret of that mighty upheaval has not been 
fully revealed. We are left wondering whether we 
have reached a complete account of what took 
place, or merely a theory of it, drawn up to fit in 
with a point of view. 

On the whole, biographies, if conscientiously 
written, are most useful to us. They show us what 
men and women were when Louis XVI. and Marie- 
Antoinette ascended the throne ; when Voltaire and 
Rousseau were writing ; when Beaumarchais was 
introducing Figaro to his countrymen ; when the 
]6tats-G6n6raux were assembling at Versailles ; when 
the ^migrds were seeking safety beyond the frontier ; 
when the Temple had become a royal prison, and 
the Convention sat at the Tuileries, and the guillo- 
tine knew no rest. For the most part those biogra- 
phies are sad reading, but they are truly instructive. 
They may not fully reveal the meaning of the play, 
but they show us, at any rate, the actors ; and these, 
acting their part, as most of them did, without com- 



prehension of what was happening, are all the more 
useful to us for that reason, when we endeavour to 
form a judgment upon the events in which they were 
involved. They have no theory to offer ; they just 
tell us what they did or what they thought right not 
to do. They represent their epoch with its own 
prejudices, its own aspirations, its partial blindness, 
and also with the passions, the unreasoning impulses, 
the sublime heroisms, and the unworthy deeds, which 
all epochs have to show. 

Thus, we have a very full and detailed account of 
the Royal House of France as it was represented about 
the year 1785 by Louis XVI., Marie-Antoinette, and 
their children ; by the daughters of Louis XV., 
Mesdames Adelaide and Victoire, and their sister 
Louise, the Carmelite of St. Denis ; by the brothers 
of Louis XVI., the Comtes de Provence and d'Artois, 
and his sisters, Madame Elizabeth and Madame 
Clotilde. About Louis XVI. and Marie- Antoinette 
there is an immense amount of literature ; the lives 
of the Comte de Provence (Louis XVIII.) and the 
Comte d'Artois (Charles X.) are also well known; 
the beautiful character of Madame Elizabeth is fully 
revealed to us by her letters, her sufferings, and her 
death. But very little indeed appears to be generally 
known of her sister Marie-Clotilde. Married to the 


Prince of Piedmont (later Charles- Emmanuel IV.) 
before she was seventeen, she passed out of the life 
of the French Court, and in the storm of the French 
Revolution she is heard of no more. 

Beyond the fact that she was a sister of Louis XVI. ; 
that from an early age she was remarkable on account 
of her abnormal stoutness of body ; that she was 
involved through her marriage in the misfortunes of 
the House of Savoy at that period ; and that she died in 
exile at Naples, with a reputation of sanctity, in 1802, 
that French Princess is hardly remembered even in 
France, and her eminent virtues, her noble character, 
her firmness and good sense in practical matters, have 
remained unnoticed. 

Yet, whether by way of comparison or by way of 
contrast, the study of her life should prove interest- 
ing. Her life raises some of the difficult problems of 
heredity ; it shows us, for instance, great similarity in 
some physical characteristics, joined to a striking 
dissimilarity in certain psychological tendencies. 
The course of the following narrative should illus- 
trate this very clearly. 

Then, Marie-Clotilde's life introduces us to a most 
interesting chapter of European history — namely, the 
relations of France and Piedmont during the last 
years of the eighteenth century and the beginning of 


the nineteenth. We can study there the first-fruits of 
the French Revolution, and the extension of its prin- 
ciples to neighbouring countries, and see how much 
true liberty and fraternity went with their propagation. 
At the same time, we are able to watch the beginnings 
of the movement which was destined in our own 
times to change the face of Italy, and to more than 
fulfil the traditional aspirations of the House of Savoy. 
But our main object here is to render more com- 
plete our knowledge of the French Royal Family 
during the last days of the old monarchy by adding 
the portrait of that sister of Louis XVI., at present 
so unfamiliar, and yet in many respects so worthy of 
our notice. 



The materials for a life of Queen Marie-Clotilde 
are somewhat scanty. There is a life in Italian by 
Monsignor Luigi Bottiglia de Savoulx, published in 
Turin in 1804 ; republished in Rome in 181 6, and 
again in Turin in 1820. 

M. Idt, Professor of the College Royal of Lyons, 
wrote in French a short book on the same subject 
in 1823. 

There is also a " Vie de la Venerable Clotilde 
de France, Reine de Sardaigne," by Grimouard 
de Saint- Laurent, Paris, 1883. 

We have the documents for the Beatification 
of Marie-Clotilde, in four volumes in folio, gathered 
for the use of the Congregation of Rites. 

For her correspondence we have the ''Lettres 
In^dites de Marie- Antoinette et de Marie-Clotilde," 
edited by the Comte de Reiset, Paris, 1877 ; and 
the " Lettere di Ven. Maria-Clotilda alle Monache 



Cappucine di S. Lucia di Foligno," published by 
Don M. F. Pulignani (Foligno, 1887). 
To these may be added — 

The " Life of Madame Elizabeth," by M. de 

The History of the House of Savoy, by 

Fr^set (Turin, 1827). 
"M^moires Historiques de la Maison de 
Savoie" (Turin, 181 6); "Charles-Felix 
de Savoie, Roi de Sardaigne" (Haute- 
Combe, i88i);and"Un Homme d'Autre- 
fois," by Marquis Costa de Beauregard. 
*' La Mere des Trois Derniers Bourbons," by 
Casimir Stryienski, Paris, 1902. 




Marie- Clotilde de France : Her birth and early child- 
hood ....... I 


The education of a princess — Marie-Clotilde's life at 
Versailles — Official announcement of her marriage 
with the Prince of Piedmont . . . .12 

Marie-Clotilde at Turin . . . . .26 


Marie-Clotilde at Turin [continued) , . .46 


Nice and Savoy are invaded by the French — Death of 
Louis XVI., of Queen Marie- Antoinette, and 
Madame EUzabeth — Marie-Clotilde's attitude and 
sentiments at that period . . . '63 





Continuationof the war with France — Victor- A madeus III. 

dies — Charles- Emmanuel becomes King of Sardinia 77 


Marie-Clotilde, Queen of Sardinia — Her share in the 
government of the kingdom — Charles-Emmanuel IV. 
is forced to sign his abdication . . '91 


King Charles-Emmanuel and Marie-Clotilde leave Turin 

— Incidents of their journey as far as Parma . 106 


The journey of the King and Queen from Parma to 
Florence — They embark for Sardinia — Their arrival 
at Cagliari . . . . . . 121 



Sardinia at the end of the eighteenth century — Charles- 
Emmanuel and Marie-Clotilde after a stay of six 
months in the island return to Italy — The political 
situation in Piedmont . . . .132 


The King and Queen once more at Florence — Political 
events compel them to leave Tuscany — Stay at 
Foligno — First visit to Rome . . . 146 




Marie- Clotilde in Rome — Her stay at Frascati — The 

King and Queen seek refuge in Naples . .162 


Second stay in Rome — Death of Princess Felicita — 
Marie-Clotilde as a nurse — The King and Queen go 
to Caserta ...... 177 


Marie-Clotilde and politics — Difficulties with the Viceroy 

of Sardinia — Her own life at Naples . . .190 


Domestic dissensions — The case of Dr. Penten^ — Position 

of Marie-Clotilde ..... 202 

Illness and death of Marie-Clotilde . . .214 


The burial of the late Queen — Charles-Emmanuel's 

abdication and death . . . . .224 

The " venerable " Marie-Clotilde .... 235 

Index . . . . . . , 245 







COMTE d'aRTOIS . . . . .20 



PRINCE DE CONDE . . . . .68 


DEATH ....... 72 

LOUIS XVI. . . . . . . .96 






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In the early morning of the 9th of February, 1747, 
a great event was attracting large crowds of people 
to Versailles. The Dauphin, son of Louis XV. and 
of Maria- Lesczynska, was about to marry a second 
time, his first wife, Marie-Therese-Raphaelle of 
Spain, having died in July, 1746, leaving him a 
widower with a little girl, who was herself to die 
about two years later. 

The new bride was the Princess Marie-Josephe 
of Saxony, daughter of Augustus II. We have a 
portrait of her drawn by a diplomatist, the Comte de 
Vaulgrenant, which enables us to form some idea 
of the Princess at that period. " The Princess of 
Saxony," he writes to the Marquis d'Argenson, 
*' has blue eyes, the nose somewhat large, the mouth 


and teeth neither good nor bad, the face rather 
white, with some reddish spots. Her waist seems 
to me what it ought to be ; her maintien is noble 
and pleasant to behold, and the expression of her 
physiognomy sufficiently animated. On the whole, 
although she is not really pretty, there is nothing in 
her that can repel or displease. As to her mind 
and character, there is nothing but good to say ; she 
is gentle, polite, considerate, and says obliging 
things with much tact. She has received a very 
good education ; her mind is cultivated ; she is 
naturally cheerful, and endowed with much penetra- 
tion and judgment. She delights in reading for 
instruction rather than for mere amusement. She 
prefers to everything else the fulfilment of her 
duties." On the whole, it was a fair portrait of the 
young Princess, and even more could have been said 
of her noble character and of her moral qualities. 

The marriage was celebrated in the royal chapel, 
in presence of the King, the Queen, and all the 
members of the Royal Family ; in the evening a great 
Court ball followed, and the long day ended for the 
Dauphin and his bride with the quaint ceremonies 
around the nuptial couch which, in those times, at 
Versailles, were considered an essential part of the 
programme of a royal wedding-day. 


At last the curtains were drawn, the Court left the 
bedroom, and the newly married pair found them- 
selves alone. The Dauphin burst into tears. Only 
two years before he had gone through the very same 
ceremony, and the thought of the beloved woman, 
so recently taken from his side by death, was more 
than he could bear. For he had loved Marie- 
Th6rese-Raphaelle with a most sincere love, and 
this new marriage, so soon after her loss, at the 
express command of the King his father, was 
positively repugnant to him. Marie-Josephe, with 
a tact and delicacy of feeling truly above her years, 
understood her husband's sorrow, and said to him : 
" Give free course to your tears, and think not that 
I am offended by them ; on the contrary, they show 
me what I may be permitted to hope for myself, if 
I have the happiness to deserve your esteem." 

It was a sad beginning, but gradually, very 
gradually, the Dauphin came to realize the sterling 
qualities of his wife, and an unexpected event 
brought about in his heart a complete revulsion of 
feeling. His little girl by his first wife died, and 
thus an occasion presented itself for Marie-Josephe 
to show all the tenderness and tactful affection of 
which she was capable. The Dauphin was pro- 
foundly touched by her evident sympathy in his 


great grief, and from that moment Marie-Josephe's 
married happiness became assured. In spite of the 
peculiar psychology of the Dauphin, due perhaps to 
the admixture of his mother's Slav blood with that of 
the Bourbons, that Prince had great moral qualities, 
a heart capable of much solid tenderness, a deeply 
religious nature ; and when he had once given his 
love to his wife, that love grew day by day in 
intensity, and their union became at last the deepest, 
strongest reality of their lives. 

In 1750, their first child was a girl, who received 
the name of Marie-Z^phyrine. A year later their 
eldest son the Due de Bourgogne was born. The 
event caused immense excitement at Versailles and 
throughout the kingdom. On receiving the news 
at Trianon, Louis XV. almost fainted. The 
Dauphin, in his uncontrolled joy, embraced every- 
body. Soon after three more sons followed : the 
Due d'Aquitaine, the Due de Berry (the future 
Louis XVI.), and the Comte de Provence, who 
was to become known as Louis XVIII. In 
October, 1757, the Comte d'Artois (Charles X.) 
was born. At last, on the 23rd of September, 1759, 
Marie-Jos^phe had a daughter, Marie- Ad^laide- 
Clotilde-Xaviere, the subject of this biographical 
study. She came so suddenly into the world that 


the Dauphin, the first femme de chambre^ and the 
midwife, were the only witnesses present. It was a 
quarter to six in the morning. The King, however, 
soon came, followed by the whole Court, and the 
new Princess was at once baptized by the Bishop of 

The event caused little excitement in Paris : no 
Te Deum was sung ; no feast was held. The birth 
of a daughter who had so many brothers alive and 
well was not considered a matter of great importance. 
The same was the case on the 3rd of May, 1764, 
when her sister Madame Elizabeth was born. No 
one then could realize that those two girls were to 
be the noblest, purest ornaments of their Royal 

The Dauphin and Marie-Josephe took from the 
first a serious interest in the education of their 
children. By their position, they were naturally 
obliged to surround them with ladies and gentlemen 
who filled the usual Court offices, and with a multi- 
tude of servants ; but in thus placing the children in 
the hands of those people, they did not altogether 
leave them in their hands, as was, and still is, too 
often the case with parents of exalted station. 

They saw their children every day, and not 
merely at stated times ; the Dauphine, with her 


native German instinct for discipline, her love of 
order, and her devotion to duty, went herself into 
every detail affecting the well-being of her progeny. 
She was assisted in this work by Madame de 
Marsan, the gouvernante of her children, a lady of 
high birth* and of extreme piety, who had solid if 
somewhat narrow views on education. After the 
death of Marie-Josephe in 1767, the care of Madame 
Clotilde and Madame Elizabeth almost exclusively 
devolved upon her, and she was truly a second 
mother to them. 

The two sisters presented in their characters a 
striking contrast. Madame Elizabeth in her earliest 
years was a decidedly difficult subject. Proud and 
disdainful, easily provoked to anger, even by the 
gentlest remonstrances, firm to the point of obstinacy, 
and impatient of all control, she presented to the 
solicitude of Madame de Marsan the same obstacles 
which the wise Archbishop F^nelon had once 
encountered in his pupil, the Due de Bourgogne,f 
whose blood flowed in Elizabeth's veins. It was a 
clear case of heredity. Madame de Marsan saw 

* Louise de Rohan-Guemene, widow of the Comte de Marsan, a 
Prince of the House of Lorraine, descended through the Dukes of 
Elbeuf from the seventh son of Claude, first Duke of Guise. 

t Not to be confounded with Madame Elizabeth's brother who 
bore the same title. 


this, and adopted F^nelon's methods, which in the 
case of his own pupil had proved so eminently 
successful. By judicious firmness and gentleness, 
by a tactful appeal to the real qualities hidden 
beneath the surface of a strong nature, the 
gouvernante came victorious out of that conflict of 
several years, and Madame Elizabeth, like her 
ancestor the Due de Bourgogne, became gentle, 
patient, affectionate, without losing the native firm- 
ness of her character, which, as we know, she carried 
with her, without alteration, to the Temple, to the 
Revolutionary Tribunal, and to the Scaffold. 

Her sister, Marie-Clotilde, presented an entirely 
different disposition. She was one of those 
privileged beings in whom almost perfect mental 
and moral equilibrium exists, and manifests itself 
simply and easily without effort or conflict. She 
was naturally what Madame Elizabeth became only 
after years of sustained discipline. All that Madame 
de Marsan had to do was to watch and assist the 
growth of that beautiful character. 

Deeply pious herself, the gouvernante saw in 
her young charge an ideal ground in which to 
sow the seeds of piety, and she did not fail to do 
so. There were many people who thought she 
went too far in that direction ; it would have 


been wonderful if the majority of courtiers, in those 
times, had thought otherwise. Yet we must not 
imagine that their view was shared by all, either at 
Court or in the society outside it. 

The memoirs of the time, the books and pamphlets 
which were steadily preparing the coming Revolu- 
tion, if alone considered, would make us believe that 
a state of universal corruption and irreligion pre- 
vailed during those last days of the monarchy. 
Nothing is farther from the truth. Even in this 
Court of Louis XV. there were brilliant exceptions. 
Around Queen Marie-Lesczynska and her children 
were found a number of men and women as much 
distinguished by their virtue as by their birth, such 
as the Duchesse de Villars and her daughter, the 
Comtesse d'Egmont, the Due and Duchesse de 
Luynes, the Comte de Muy, and many others, of 
whom the Queen often spoke as "ses honnetes 

The Dauphin and his wife, Marie-Jos^phe, had 
also a circle of friends who could admire the beauty 
and follow the example of their married life, and it 
is impossible to read without emotion the story of 
Madame Louise, one of Louis XV.'s daughters, as 
it shows her daily efforts to live at Court without 
yielding to the temptations of her position, and the 


steady growth of her spiritual life. She also, it is 
true, was said to go too far, and her desire to live a 
Christian life did not escape the criticisms of the 
worldly. Nevertheless, there were also many who 
understood her and admired her openly. 

In favouring eagerly the religious dispositions of 
Marie- Clotilde, Madame de Marsan was only con- 
forming to the views and feelings of her parents, 
and it may probably be said, without fear of error, 
that, like her aunt Madame Louise, the young 
Princess would have been the holy soul she proved 
to be even if she had had no such gouvernante as 
Madame de Marsan. Goodness and piety in her 
were not merely the result of training. She was 
what she was, we may say, by instinct. 

When she was still only a little girl. Queen 
Marie-Antoinette could write of her to her mother, 
the Empress Maria-Theresa : " Clotilde est la 
douceur m^me, raisonnable, avenante, et un sourire 
de bont^ sur les levres." Those words say exactly 
what she then was, and what she remained to 
the end. Even as a child she was universally 
loved for her goodness, her charity, her gentleness, 
for the total absence of false pride or vanity in her. 
As she grew up, those qualities grew also, but her 
piety had always the supreme distinguishing note 


of genuineness. It was the highest piety, but it 
never was bigotry. Her severity to herself never 
made her unfairly severe to others. 

From the first she was a serious child, with little 
inclination to the ordinary amusements of childhood. 
There was probably a physical as well as a moral 
cause for this. Like her father, she manifested from 
her earliest years a tendency to stoutness, which 
gradually became so pronounced that she was 
spoken of usually as *' Gros Madame." This con- 
dition unfitted her for much exercise, She preferred 
quieter occupations, but it did not make her lazy. 
She was always busy with her studies, her reading, 
or her tapestry. In this way she acquired consider- 
able skill in needlework, and a maturity of judgment 
far above her years. 

It is certain that Marie-Clotilde, more or less 
unconsciously, did help Madame de Marsan in 
her difficult task of softening and forming the 
character of Madame Elizabeth. This Princess 
was at first very jealous of Marie-Clotilde, because 
of the affection which the gouvernante evidently 
felt for her and could not hide. One day, when 
Madame de Marsan had refused to give Madame 
Elizabeth something she wished to have, the young 
Princess at once exclaimed : " If my sister Clotilde 


had asked you for the same thing, she would 
certainly have got it!" Had Marie-Clotilde been 
otherwise than she was, all the efforts of the 
gouvernante with her sister would perhaps have 
proved fruitless. Somehow, Madame de Marsan 
could not find her way to that young heart. 

Such failures, even where the best intentions exist, 
are common, and can hardly be avoided. Sympathy 
is a mysterious thing ; without it how powerless 
we are, even when we do our best ! What the 
good gouvernante found so difficult, the gentle little 
sister accomplished. She made Elizabeth love her, 
and the thing was done. It seems very simple. 
Yet how long it takes most of us to learn so simple 
a lesson ! Marie-Clotilde was then about ten years 



What was the education of a Princess in the 
eighteenth century ? F^nelon, writing towards the 
end of the seventeenth, has shown us, in his 
celebrated *• Trait^ de I'fiducation des Filles," what 
was then the ideal of such an education. He makes 
religion the foundation of his system, as being the 
only one upon which can be securely established 
the happiness of the family and the ordered structure 
of society. But F^nelon's idea of religion was hardly 
the popular idea of his time. Men and women, he 
says, need a thorough knowledge of religion, but 
that knowledge must be solid and free from all 
superstition. He adds : " We must never introduce 
into the faith or the practices of piety anything 
that is not drawn from the Gospel or authorized by 
the constant approbation of the Church. Accustom 



the children not to accept lightly certain stories 
lacking in authority, and not to take up certain 
devotions which an indiscreet zeal has introduced 
without awaiting the Church's approval of them." 

Then, examining what should be taught to girls, 
F^nelon lays down the principle that, generally 
speaking, we must equally avoid a system of instruc- 
tion which aims at teaching women too much, and one 
which deliberately aims at teaching them too little. 
In his day, this principle had an obvious reference, 
on one hand to the aspect of female education so 
well sketched by Moliere in his " Precieuses 
Ridicules," and on the other to the system of 
educational training too generally followed in many 
convent schools and in great families. 

In a word, F^nelon does not believe that the best 
in womanhood is fostered by a course of teaching 
merely analogous to that which makes men ; nor 
does he believe that the best in womanhood can be 
brought out by a superficial education in which 
music, dancing, a smattering of literature, and 
external practices of religion, take the place of 
solid instruction. He is afraid of everything which 
may tend to develop the young imagination at the 
expense of the mind, or to instil a spirit of vanity. 
His view is summed up in the beautiful sentence : 


*• Rien n'est estimable que le bon sens et la 

Such were, no doubt, the principles which guided 
those who were entrusted with the education of the 
young Princesses, Madame Clotilde and Madame 
Elizabeth. We have already seen how thorough 
was their religious training. Madame de Marsan 
was not likely to fail in that. It was, indeed, 
whispered about that she overdid it, and that 
Madame Clotilde in particular, being more com- 
pletely under her influence, was being trained for 
the cloister rather than for the throne. However, 
as de Beauchene finely says in his ** Life of Madame 
Elizabeth": "The firmness of soul exhibited by 
the Queen of Sardinia [Marie-Clotilde] in days of 
adversity showed the world that the courage which 
can brave trials and dangers is not incompatible 
with the faith which teaches us to accept them as a 

To judge of the instruction given to Marie- 
Clotilde and her sister, we must chiefly rely upon 
the remarks of contemporaries and upon such 
information as can be gleaned from their letters. 
We know that history was taught them with special 
care, and not merely the history of France, but 
ancient history also. One of the favourite books oi 


Madame Elizabeth was Plutarch's " Lives," and we 
can hardly doubt that she often read that book with 
her sister Clotilde. 

Botany was also taught, and during the residence 
of the Royal Family at Compiegne and Fontainebleau, 
the celebrated physician Lemonier gave them lessons 
in that science, and accompanied them when they 
went out to herborize in the woods. 

Painting and modelling in wax were assiduously 
practised by the two sisters, and we know that 
Madame Elizabeth excelled particularly in the 
former art. On the other hand, Madame Clotilde 
was specially gifted as a musician, and we are told 
that she played on the guitar most agreeably. 

The austere Madame de Marsan allowed her 
royal pupils to act short plays and proverbs, some 
of which had been written by herself, before a select 
audience, mainly composed of members of the Royal 
Family. Thus Marie-Antoinette wrote to her 
mother in 1773: "Next Thursday I am to be 
present when my little sister [Marie-Clotilde] will 
act in a proverb. I send it to you so that you may 
have an idea of our amusements." 

This proverb had been composed by Madame de 
Graffigny. Had it been one written by Madame 
de Marsan, the Queen might perhaps have shown 


less interest in it. For it must be admitted that, 
with all her kindness and innate goodness of heart, 
Marie- Antoinette was not altogether friendly to 
Madame de Marsan. First of all, she was a Rohan, 
and the Queen did not like that family. When 
we remember the subsequent "Affaire du Collier," 
and the part played in it by Cardinal Louis de 
Rohan, we must admit that her instinctive pre- 
judice proved to be singularly justified. 

Moreover, Madame de Marsan, by her position 
and her high family connections, had a very consider- 
able influence in Court circles, and an influence which 
often stood in more or less open opposition to 
the views and desires of the Queen. Hence 
the following remark in one of her letters at 
the time of Marie-Clotilde's marriage : " Madame 
de Marsan takes my sister as far as Chamb^ry, and 
on her return she appears to have decided to retire 
from the Court. In spite of her piety, I think we 
shall not sustain a very grave loss ; it will be one 
source of intrigue and malice the less." Later on 
the Queen writes again, when Madame de Marsan 
had finally left the Court : " We are now nearly 
clear of that famous gouvernanie. I say ' nearly/ 
because she retains her apartment, although she 
has resigned her duties." 


If we read all this, remembering at the same time 
the inexorable rules of etiquette, the external demon- 
strations of deepest respect, required of the one, and 
the ever-gracious smiles forced upon the lips of the 
other by the law of her exalted rank, at public 
receptions, on the way to chapel, or on any other 
occasion which rendered their meeting inevitable, 
we shall no doubt feel how true it is that times may 
change, and dynasty may replace dynasty, but that 
the moral atmosphere of Courts is always every- 
where the same. 

But to come back to Marie- Clotilde. As early as 
the year 1773, her marriage with the Prince of Pied- 
mont, Charles- Emmanuel, the eldest son of Victor- 
Amadeus III., King of Sardinia, had been seriously 
discussed at Versailles, and the political aspects of 
such an alliance were receiving due consideration. 
In January, 1775, the question had so far advanced 
that it was deemed advisable that the Princess should 
become acquainted with the Italian language as a 
preparation for the destiny which awaited her. She 
was therefore given as Italian master no less a person 
than the poet Carlo Goldoni, who had in former 
years taught the daughters of Louis XV. In his 
memoirs he speaks of the part he played in the 
education of Marie- Clotilde, and acknowledges with 



evident pleasure the excellent dispositions of his 
royal pupil. She made admirable progress, he says ; 
she was extremely docile, had great facility for 
learning, and a most retentive memory. She soon 
was able to speak Italian fluently, and to read it 
quite easily. " Unfortunately," he adds (apparently 
with a sense that his own literary greatness deserved 
better treatment), "our lessons were often interrupted 
by the visits of jewellers, goldsmiths, merchants, 
painters, etc., brought to the palace by the necessity 
of making preparations for the Princess's approaching 
marriage." Anyhow, she learnt Italian sufficiently 
well to be able to express herself easily in that 
tongue when she arrived at Turin. 

So far, however, the project of an alliance with 
the House of Savoy was only known in France, and 
even at Court, through vague reports which nothing 
official had yet confirmed. At last, on the 13th of 
March, 1775, the King, after an audience granted 
to the Comte de Viry, Ambassador of the King of 
Sardinia, publicly announced the marriage of his 
sister with Charles-Emmanuel, Prince of Piedmont, 
and on the same day a similar announcement was 
made in Turin. 

Nevertheless it was not Louis XVI. 's intention 
that the marriage should take place before the 


ceremony of his own coronation, his sacre at 
Rheims. There, on the 1 2th of June, Marie-Clotilde 
was present when her unfortunate brother assumed 
the crown which was to prove so heavy a burden 
to him, and a fatal gift of destiny to his children. 
Then, on the 8th of August, the Comte de Viry made 
the public request for the Princess's hand ; the formal 
betrothal followed on the i6th, and on the 21st 
took place the marriage by " procuration," the 
Comte de Provence, brother of the bride, represent- 
ing the Prince of Piedmont. The Cardinal de la 
Roche-Aymond performed the nuptial ceremony, 
and from that moment Marie - Clotilde became 
known as the Princess of Piedmont. She then 
wrote this letter to her father-in-law, the King of 
Sardinia : 


August 21, 1775. 

" Monsieur my Brother, Cousin, and Father- 
in-Law, — I cannot express to your Majesty how 
much I desire to be able to show my gratitude for 
all your goodness to me. My gratitude is most 
ardent and sincere, and the more I hear about your 
Majesty, the more impatient I am to know you, to 
devote myself to you, and to deserve your kindness. 
Precious as this is to me now, it will be still more 


precious when I have the happiness to be near you. 

I trust that you do not doubt it, nor the continual 

attention with which I shall ever endeavour to 

please you. 

** I am, Monsieur my Brother, Cousin, and 
Father-in-Law, of your Majesty, the most 
affectionate Sister, Cousin, and Daughter- 


A similar letter was addressed at the same time 
to the Queen of Sardinia. On the 25th of August, 
the feast of St. Louis, and therefore a great family 
anniversary, a magnificent ball was given in Paris, 
at which Louis XVI., Marie- Antoinette, the new 
Princess of Piedmont, and all the Court, were 

On the 27th of August our young Princess took 
leave officially of the King and Queen, and started 
for Choisy with Madame Elizabeth, Madame de 
Marsan, and the ladies and gentlemen of her house- 
hold; and almost immediately afterwards Louis XVI. 
and Marie-Antoinette followed her to Choisy, in 
order to bid her a final good-bye. It was a sad 
moment for Marie-Clotilde. She well knew that 
this meant a permanent separation from those she 


To face />. 20. 


loved. In these days of easy and rapid communica- 
tions, to go to be married a few hundred miles 
away from home means little or nothing ; we know 
that such an event can, at most, entail a temporary 
absence from those dear to us. They can always 
easily come to us, or we can as easily go back to 
them. But it was very different 150 years ago. 
Turin was then a long way from Versailles. We 
may therefore imagine the feelings of the tender- 
hearted girl when the carriage started for Choisy. 
The postilions were ordered to drive slowly, in 
order to give the crowds watching her departure an 
opportunity of having a last look at the little 
French Princess on her way to another kingdom 
beyond the Alps. Seeing some ladies more specially 
known to her, Marie- Clotilde said to them, with 
tears in her eyes : "Adieu ; I leave you with great 
sorrow, for I shall not see you again." 

Marie- Antoinette was deeply grieved at not being 
able to accompany her sister-in-law as far as Cham- 
bdry, with the Comte and Comtesse de Provence. 
'* I am oppressed," she wrote to the Empress Maria- 
Theresa, " by the joy of Monsieur and Madame. 
Their joy is certainly very natural, and I have 
hidden my tears in order not to spoil it. . . . But 
how dreadful for me not to be able to share their 



happiness!" Poor woman! she, too, had left her 
home once, and was never to see it again. 

We must not weary our readers with the details 
of the journey as far as the Bridge of Beauvoisin, on 
the frontier between France and Savoy. At Lyons, 
on the way, the Princess of Piedmont remained 
about three days to take some rest, and to afford to 
the population of that great city the satisfaction of 
seeing her. Her reception there was truly splendid. 
The authorities of the town gave, in her honour, 
a dowry to eight young girls of Lyons about to be 
married, and the Princess made a request that their 
husbands might also receive certain privileges which 
it was in the power of the town to grant. Her 
request was, of course, acceded to. When the 
nuptial blessing had been given by the Abbe de 
Beaumont, one of the royal chaplains, she graciously 
desired to kiss the eight brides, and she admitted 
their husbands to the honour of kissing her hand. 
Then, having visited the principal factories of 
Lyons, she asked that six prisoners, condemned as 
deserters from the army, might be released for her 
sake, and this was done. The six poor fellows were 
allowed to approach her and to express their 
gratitude. The enthusiasm of the people was 
immense, and at that moment Marie-Clotilde could 


well believe that she had helped to increase the 
popularity of the Royal Family. Indeed, she could 
have had no doubt about it, unconscious as she must 
have been of the trend of public opinion, and of the 
intrigues which were already preparing the Revolu- 
tion. She was not destined to see on French soil 
the eruption of the volcano, but in her new country 
of Piedmont she was to feel the earthquake which 
followed it, and shook the foundations of her throne. 

On the afternoon of September 5, at about 4.30, 
Marie-Clotilde arrived at the Pont de Beauvoisin, 
where various bodies of troops had been stationed 
to render military honours for the last time to her 
as a French Princess. But the impression that she 
was still a daughter of France was soon dispelled 
by the arrival of the ladies of the Sardinian Court, 
who were henceforth exclusively to attend her as 
Princess of Piedmont. 

The next day, after Mass, took place the official 
transfer of the Princess by the Comte de Clermont- 
Tonnerre into the hands of the Comte de Viry, 
acting in the name of his Sovereign the King of 
Sardinia. A few moments after this ceremony it was 
announced that the Prince of Piedmont had arrived, 
and before Marie-Clotilde could prepare herself for 
the ordeal, her Lord and Master, whom she had 


never seen before, stood in her presence and was 
kissing her hand. 

However simple and submissive a well-trained 
young girl may be, such a moment can hardly find 
her unmoved, and, in spite of the careful instructions 
of Madame de Marsan, Marie-Clotilde must have 
felt a pardonable emotion at the thought that the 
Prince was examining her, and that he was receiving 
his first impression of her. 

Simple-minded though she was, she was well 
aware that her physical appearance was not ordinary. 
It was no secret for her that people at Versailles 
spoke of her as "Gros Madame"; in fact, ever since 
her marriage had been decided upon, the thought 
of what her future husband would think of her 
excessive stoutness had been a positive obsession. 
Her portrait had, indeed, been forwarded to Turin ; 
but, while doing justice to her charming face, it 
could convey no real idea of the appearance of 
the rest. The poor girl, in presence of the Prince, 
could find no other words than these, after he had 
paid her the usual compliments : " You will find me 
very stout!" It is said that Charles- Emmanuel 
answered without hesitation : " I find you adorable." 
Yet he admitted in conversation afterwards that the 
stoutness of the Princess, however prepared he had 


been by the reports made to him, had struck him at 
first sight as truly prodigious. But there was some- 
thing so pure and noble in her face, such modesty 
and withal such dignity in her attitude, and such 
transparent innocence and honesty in what she had 
said, that he at once forgot her stoutness, and felt 
he could love her for the sake of the soul which the 
face revealed. 

In the evening, when the King his father 
questioned him with some apprehension about his 
first interview with his bride, the Prince declared 
himself entirely satisfied, and said that the touching 
humility of her first words to him had almost 
affected him to tears. He declared that her physical 
infirmity was nothing to him in comparison with 
what she seemed to be in herself. 

Thus began a union which, through good and 
evil fortune, was to prove a true union of souls. 
Marie-Clotilde had gained the love and esteem of 
her husband by the honest simplicity of one word ; 
but she could only succeed in this because there was 
in Charles-Emmanuel a nature which could under- 
stand that word, and a heart capable of responding 
to its appeal. 



At Les Echelles, the first town of Savoy reached after 
crossing the French frontier, King Victor- Amadeus 
awaited the arrival of Marie-Clotilde. As soon as 
she saw him, she left her carriage, and, falling on her 
knees, kissed his hand. Then the journey was 
resumed, and the royal party reached Chambdry in 
the evening. There Marie-Clotilde met the Queen, 
Marie-Antoinette-Ferdinande of Spain, who received 
her with the greatest cordiality. Without any delay, 
that same evening, the ratification of the marriage 
was solemnized in the Chapel Royal. Madame 
Badia, one of the ladies specially attached, by the 
choice of the King, to the service of the Princess 
of Piedmont (she remained in her service from 
that moment until Marie-Clotilde's death), has re- 
corded the charming grace and modesty, joined to 
the remarkable piety, shown by the Princess during 
the religious ceremony. 



Splendid f^tes and popular rejoicings kept the 
usually quiet little capital of Savoy in a high state 
of excitement for several days. We are told that as 
many as seventeen Princes were present on the 
occasion, among them the Comte de Provence, 
brother of Marie-Clotilde, who had brought with 
him his secretary, the poet Ducis, himself a native 
of Savoy. 

His works are little read — indeed, hardly known 
to-day ; yet such neglect should not make us forget 
his merits and the originality of his talents. He 
conceived the idea of making the chief plays of 
Shakespeare known to the French public, and thus 
brought out successively, in verse, " Hamlet," 
''Romeo and Juliet," "King Lear," "Macbeth, 
* Othello." His plays are not mere translations of 
Shakespeare's plays, they are more in the nature 
of a paraphrase ; his object was to convey the 
essential character of each play, and to make the 
French people realize the beauties of the original, 
while maintaining those canons of literary taste 
which French traditions required, and which he 
and most of his fellow-countrymen considered to 
have been sometimes sadly neglected by Shake- 
speare. The result was what might have been 
expected : Ducis's plays treat of the same subjects 


as those of Shakespeare, but they do not convey the 
same impression ; their very refinement does away 
with the strength and power so characteristic of the 
English poet. Yet Ducis has many passages which 
even Shakespeare might have acknowledged as his 
own, although they are not a reproduction of any- 
thing that can be traced in the original, and these 
passages are often among the best. The same 
thing has occurred, in our own times, in the 
immortal paraphrase of the Rubdiydt of Omar 
Khayydm of Edward FitzGerald, whose best inspira- 
tion was not always suggested by the text. 

The esteem in which Ducis was held by his 
contemporaries is shown by the fact that he was 
chosen to succeed Voltaire in the French Academy. 

On the occasion of the royal marriage, it was 
decided that a representation de gala should take 
place, and that the play should be the " Rom^o 
et Juliette" of Ducis. He himself superintended 
the rehearsals and all the preparations for that great 
event, and, in order to adapt the play to the circum- 
stance, he composed a special passage in which 
occurred a graceful compliment to King Victor- 
Amadeus. The passage was greatly admired and 
loudly applauded. The King, much touched, took 
the printed play from the hands of Marie-Clotilde 


to read the passage in question, and to ascertain 
whether the words really occurred in the text. 
Then the Comte de Provence, who was seated next 
to him, made him notice that a printed slip had 
been stuck over the page. The passage was so 
happily conceived that it seemed to be an integral 
part of the play. Ducis also composed and pre- 
sented to the Prince and Princess of Piedmont a 
poem in which their union was duly celebrated in 
the traditional style of an epithalamium. But that 
piece has not been printed in the complete edition 
of his works. 

From Chambery the Royal Family proceeded by 
easy stages to Turin, where their solemn entry took 
place on the 30th of September. At the city gate 
the Governor presented the keys of the town to the 
King, who desired that they should be offered to 
the Princess of Piedmont. Here, during a whole 
fortnight, there was a succession of fetes, balls, 
illuminations, and fireworks, in honour of the married 
pair.* Crowds eagerly gathered, wherever they 

* Those festivities were brought to a close on the 15 th of October, 
by the exposition of the Sindone, or Holy Shroud, which is preserved 
in the chapel of the Royal Palace at Turin. Such expositions always 
excited a deep interest, because of the rare occasions on which they 
took place. There had been no exposition since the marriage of 
King Victor- Amadeus in 1750. We cannot refer in detail to the 


went, to obtain a sight of the bride, but, unfortunately, 
Goldoni s lessons had enabled her only too well to 
understand the remarks of the populace as she drove 
slowly through the streets of Turin. ** How big 
she is! how big she is!" she heard people say. In 
spite of all her humility, she could not resist a sense 
of mortification, for those exclamations, she felt, 
must be heard also by her husband. In the evening, 
with tears in her eyes, she mentioned the circum- 
stance to her mother-in-law. " Oh, pay no attention 
to that, my dear child," answered the Queen. 
" When I arrived here at the time of my marriage, 
the people exclaimed wherever I went : ' How ugly 
she looks ! how ugly she is !' " How much consola- 
tion Marie-Clotilde derived from this kindly-meant 
rejoinder, we cannot tell. But her gentle character, 
her sweet disposition, and her deep piety, soon 

controversies which, from time to time, have arisen concerning 
the Holy Shroud — />., the piece of coarse linen in which our Lord's 
body was wrapped up after death, which is said to have retained 
some outline of the sacred body, indicated by brown marks visible 
upon the linen. It is known to have been, since the middle of 
the fifteenth century, in the possession of the Dukes of Savoy, who 
obtained it from Marguerite de Charny, widow of Humbert, 
Count de I^ Roche St. Hippolyte in Burgundy. Kept at first in 
the chapel of the Ducal Palace at Chamb^ry, the Sindone was 
transferred to Turin in the year 1578, and has been kept there 
ever since as a most precious treasure of the House of Savoy. 


triumphed over the momentary mortification she had 
experienced, and, on the other hand, the people of 
Turin were not slow In perceiving the high qualities 
of her mind and heart, in spite of her physical appear- 
ance. Her graciousness and her tactful manner 
with all who approached her very soon obtained 
for her a popularity which time only increased, and 
gradually transformed into affectionate veneration. 

Her letters at that period show her truly happy in 
her new life. For instance, she writes to one of her 
dearest friends at Versailles, the Marquise d'Usson : 

" I beg your pardon for my delay in answering 
your letter ; indeed, I much desired to write, but 
there was not a minute in which I could have done 
so. I can assure you that I have felt deeply our 
separation, but I believe your friendship to be such 
that I may hope to console you by the assurance 
that I shall be perfectly happy. Heaven has given 
me a husband who is charming, very amiable and 
very attentive to me. The King and Queen are 
full of goodness and friendliness for me. In a word, 
I should be quite content if I was not separated from 
those dear to me. I pray you will not doubt my 
affection, but will always consider me as one who 
loves you with all her heart. 

" Marie-Clotilde." 


To another friend, the Marquise de Soran, she 
also wrote : 

" I am perfectly happy ; my husband is full of 
affection for me, and the most delicious union exists 
between us. But for the regret of being so far 
from my native country and from those I love, my 
happiness would be complete. . . . Piedmont 
desires to be kindly remembered to you, and sends 
his compliments." 

She constantly speaks thus of the Prince, and she 
also spoke in the same way of other members of the 
family. Thus the Dukes of Aosta, of Montferrat, 
of G^nevois, the Comte de Maurienne, are regularly 
mentioned in her letters as Aosta, Montferrat, 
G^nevois, Maurienne ; she also makes use of the 
pet names by which some of them were known. 
For instance, the Due de G6nevois is Zeno, and 
the Comte de Maurienne, Mauria. This shows the 
friendly spirit which united the members of the 
Royal Family at the Court of Turin. 

It is indeed pleasant to be able to record the 
fact that there never was a time when Marie-Clotilde 
had to suffer from any of those dissensions which 
too often embitter the relations of family life. She 
was affectionate to all, and all loved her. 

The King had every reason to be pleased with 


his daughter-in-law ; respect, obedience to his 
wishes, and gentle influence for good in his family, 
characterized her constant attitude. The Queen 
found in her, also, a most devoted and affectionate 
daughter, and one with whose deeply religious 
nature she felt a genuine sympathy. Yet there was 
a radical difference of temper between them. The 
Queen's piety was cold, formal. She had brought 
from her native land of Spain the severe etiquette 
of Madrid, and imposed upon the Court of Turin 
a rigid code of manners which seemed hard to the 
cheerful, amiable Piedmontese society of that period. 

For brilliant fetes, for joyous intercourse where 
gallantry had its natural place, had been substituted 
solemn ceremonies and grave receptions, frigid like 
the Princess who presided over them. The life 
of the Court had in it something of the convent, 
and much of the discipline of barracks. Marie- 
Antoinette-Ferdinande thus inspired more respect 
than love. Yet she was not without certain high 
qualities, and she promptly discerned the merits 
partly hidden under the simple humility of her 
daughter-in-law, who in return gave her her entire 

Marie-Clotilde consulted the Queen in every- 
thing, and always acted upon her wishes without 



the least hesitation. The cold exterior of the 
Queen was largely due to natural shyness, and 
shy people always feel attracted to those who, in 
some way, make them feel more at their ease. 
Marie-Clotilde had that effect upon her. For her 
piety, strict, strong, serious as it was, was neither 
cold nor stern. There was that touch of tenderness 
in it which ever distinguishes genuine holiness from 
mere pietism. She was severe to herself, but always 
kind, considerate, and indulgent, to others. 

Her attitude towards inferiors was especially 
remarkable. She never seemed to command, but 
rather to beg, a favour ; her politeness to servants 
was striking in an age when social distinctions 
were so sharply defined, and barriers between class 
and class were almost unsurmountable. Her 
forbearance was such, even when her attendants 
failed to render her a necessary service, that 
the Prince her husband often reproached her, and 
said that she did not know how to make people 
serve her. 

Needless to say that the members of her house- 
hold were profoundly attached to her ; they reported 
in the town all they saw of her prolonged prayers, 
of her mortifications, of her touching humility, of 
her constant charity and admirable patience, and 


the people of Turin, when the Royal Family 
walked in state to church on Sunday mornings, 
would gather in large crowds, saying affectionately : 
" Let us go and see the saint pass." The process 
of her canonization had begun. 

Was Marie-Clotilde so pious, so patient, and so 
sweet, simply because such was her temperament ? 
This question raises difficult points of psychology 
which we must not attempt to solve. We should 
have to ascertain whether she was what she was 
easily and naturally, or whether the sanctity of 
her life was the fruit of sustained effort. She 
certainly had a firmness of will, a determination, 
and a perseverance, which are not found in weak 

The Prince her husband, in spite of his love 
and veneration for her, has admitted that his 
saintly consort was not so naturally inclined to 
gentleness and sweetness as one might have thought 
from her constant manifestation of those qualities. 
On the contrary, he believed that she had often to 
do violence to herself in order to resist a natural 
disposition to impatience ; she was by no means 
free from involuntary movements of irritation and 
ill-humour; while her habit of body was in itself 
hardly calculated to promote activity and firm- 


ness of will. Here we are reminded that she 

was, after all, the sister of Madame Elizabeth, 

whose natural temper, as we have seen, originally 

was not of the best. Without being as wilful, as 

haughty, as self-opinionated, or as rebellious, as her 

sister once was, yet there were, it would seem, in her 

the same seeds mysteriously deposited by heredity. 

Madame Elizabeth had been cured of those natural 

impulses by the firm direction of Madame de 

Marsan, and the same direction had proved even 

more completely successful in the case of Marie- 

Clotilde, because she was from the first of a gentler, 

easier disposition. But the work had not been 

accomplished without effort, and we may well 

assume that it was not continued day by day, now 

that she was free from external control, without 

similar effort on her part. Thus we can understand 

the spirit of her piety, so unlike that of those who 

only seek themselves while believing they are 

seeking God. The following story is a good 

illustration of the spirit which was in her : 

Her husband's younger brother, the Due d'Aosta, 
had married in 1789 the Archduchess Maria- 
Theresa, granddaughter of the great Empress of 
that name, and daughter of the Archduke Ferdinand 
of Austria. 


Proud, beautiful, capricious, Maria-Theresa felt 
strongly the dulness of the Sardinian Court at that 
period ; she scarcely endeavoured to respond to the 
Due d'Aosta's deep love for her, and she found 
little sympathy in the family circle. Yet, in spite of 
the apparent incompatibility between such a character 
and that of Marie-Clotilde, the Duchesse d'Aosta 
felt attracted to her sister-in-law, and found in her 
a friend ever ready to help and to sympathize 
with her in her difficulties. Always in search of 
some amusement to break the monotony of Court 
life, she came one morning to the Princess of Pied- 
mont, and asked her, not without some embarrass- 
ment, whether she did not propose to go to the 
theatre on that evening. 

" Oh, again the theatre !" said Marie-Clotilde with 
some ill-humour. " The King has not ordered me 
to go." 

" The King allows me to go," answered Maria- 
Theresa, " if your Royal Highness would just be 
willing to go yourself." 

" Could I give you so pernicious an example, dear 
sister ? My solicitude for your soul's happiness 
would not let me do such a thing." 

"But where is the harm in going to hear some 
good music ?" 



" Ah ! that is not all. What of those infamous 
ballets which compel me to shut my eyes ? What 
of those voluptuous songs ? Do you think there is 
no danger in these things ? Believe me, dear sister, 
let us avoid such distractions." 

Maria-Theresa bent her head, and her eyes filled 
with tears. An expression of sorrowful disappoint- 
ment came over her lovely face. She rose to leave 
the room. 

" Sister," said Marie-Clotilde, " what is it ? Is 
there something that gives you pain ?" 

" Ah !" exclaimed the Duchesse d'Aosta, " is not 
my fate dreadful ?" 

" What ! does not your husband love you i*" 

"Oh, he loves me only too much. It is not 

• But what is it, then ?" 

** Here I am, alone, far from my mother, my 
family, my country, without a friend to whom I 
could tell what I suffer, and I am denied the 
smallest amusement." 

" Yes, you are right, dear sister. I deserve your 
reproaches. I was forgetting my age and yours 
that you need company, that you need a mother. 
Let me be yours. Tell me, shall we go to the 
theatre this evening .''" 


Maria-Theresa, deeply touched by these words of 
affection, seized the Princess's hand and kissed it. 

"No," she said; "your kind words have done 
me good. I do not care now to go to the theatre." 

" Theresa, my sister, you are a good and noble 
soul," answered the Princess. " Only let me give 
you a word of advice." 

" Speak ; I will always listen to you." 

" Believe me, restrain that love of pleasure, those 
ardent desires. Remember that every action done 
by us poor Princesses is ever exposed to the ilf- 
intentioned criticisms of the public." 

" Have I done anything to provoke those 
criticisms ?" 

" No ; God forbid that I should even think that. 
But we live in evil times, sister. A fatal spirit is 
threatening all thrones. Let us be careful. This 
is truly the time to say, ' Watch and pray.' " 

At that moment the King was announced and 
entered the room. He seemed pleased to see the 
Duchesse d'Aosta in the company of her holy sister- 

" Father," said the Princess of Piedmont, " your 
Majesty has anticipated my desire. I was going to 
visit you in order to beg of you a favour." 

" Do speak : in what could I please you ?" 


" I should so much like to go to the theatre this 
evening. Have I your permission ?" 

" Of course," answered the King, *' and I shall be 
happy to accompany you." 

" And you, my sister," said Marie-Clotilde, turn- 
ing towards the Duchess, " will you not come also ? 
I pray you, do come." 

" You are too good !" exclaimed Maria-Theresa, 
and, before Marie-Clotilde could prevent her, she 
told the King what had happened. 

" Dear daughters," said the King, with genuine 
emotion, "you are two angels whose virtues will 
protect my throne." 

The beauty of Marie-Clotilde's character and the 
solidity of her piety seem to us clearly revealed in 
this touching episode. Truly the instinct of the 
people of Turin was not at fault when they said : 
" Let us go and see the Saint pass." 

The Saint, as she was called, in spite of the 
respect and love she inspired, had her crosses. 
Can sanctity be reached or maintained without 
them ? One of her crosses was the daily conflict 
between her views of life and the obligations of her 
exalted position. She had to live and dress and 
speak and act like a Princess, while deep within her 
soul remained a constant longing for the religious life. 


The daughter of Kings felt an incessant regret that 
she was not a daughter of St. Teresa, a Carmelite. 
Her thoughts wandered away from her palace in 
Turin back to the cloister at St. Denis, where her 
aunt, Madame Louise, the daughter of Louis XV., 
had, as she believed, chosen, like Mary, the better 
part ; where she had so often witnessed affecting 
ceremonies ; where in prayer her young heart had 
made, no doubt, many resolutions of higher per- 
fection, which now, on the steps of a throne, she 
found so difficult to keep. 

Another cross was the anxiety she felt concerning 
France and the Royal Family there. She laboured 
under no illusions about the security of their position, 
and her appreciation of the trend of political events 
in France shows in her great intelligence and fore- 
sight. She lamented the lack of seriousness with 
which the news from Paris was received at the 
Court of Turin — the notion that the agitation there 
was merely brought about by a small body of 
malcontents whom a little energy would soon reduce 
to silence. " Do you not see," she often said to the 
members of her new family, " how the thrones of 
Europe need support to-day ? If God withdraws 
His hand, they will fall to pieces, and the hour, 
perhaps, is not far distant when we shall have to 


tread upon their dust." Again, she would say : 
" Corruption has worn out the monarchy, and the 
irreligion of our men of letters in France has led 
away her people." Or again : " All that God does 
is right. If He thus leaves the Princes of this 
earth in the hands of impious men, it must be 
because those Princes have transgressed His 

Even when the most alarming news of the Reign 
of Terror reached Turin, her faith still gave her 
strength to say to the Comtesse d'Artois : " God 
can manifest His goodness even in the midst of the 
worst evils." 

She was resigned to God's will ; but resignation 
does not imply insensibility. She felt an increasing 
distress within her as she learnt from the letters of 
her sister Elizabeth the hopeless situation of those 
she loved, and her distress was made still more 
acute by the thought that she could do nothing for 
them, that she could not even go back and share 
their fate. 

Again, another cross cast a shadow over her 
otherwise happy married life. Left to herself, her 
choice would most probably have led her to the 
cloister of her aunt Madame Louise. But having 
once entered upon the married state by the wish of 


her family, she never for an instant allowed her past 
preferences to weaken the sense of her present 
duties. Her affection for her husband was sincere 
and unfailing, her devotion to her new family un- 
bounded. The wife of a Prince called to ascend a 
throne, she knew the importance of assuring the 
succession to the Crown. It was therefore a great 
sorrow for her to find herself still childless after 
several years of anxious expectation. The dis- 
appointment of the Prince of Piedmont, of the King 
and Queen, and of their people, distressed her beyond 

Then that sad question of her habit of body 
again presented itself in a more acute form. It was 
hinted that her stoutness indicated a condition 
possibly connected with her barrenness. This made 
her intensely miserable, and she told some intimate 
friends that she would gladly risk her life to give the 
desired satisfaction to her husband and to the family. 
She did not give her life, but she underwent positive 
tortures. The Court physicians began to prescribe 
for her the most painful remedies known to the 
medical science of the time. She was made to 
drink all sorts of nauseous medicines, which made 
her ill in various ways, but entirely failed in their 
specific purpose. She was ordered to go and drink 


the waters at Aix, at Amphion, and at other places. 
But all in vain. 

One result, however, was attained : Her stoutness 
disappeared under the action of so many drastic 
remedies, and she became as thin as she had 
previously been fat. Madame Lebrun, the artist, 
who visited Turin about that time, says in her 
memoirs : "Her leanness struck me particularly, as 
I had seen her when she was very young, before 
her marriage, when her stoutness was so pronounced. 
. . . She had altered beyond recognition." 

In 1779, her health having somewhat improved, 
we learn from one of her letters to the Marquise de 
Soran that she had at one moment a great hope 
that the object of her prayers was going to be 
granted ; but this hope was not fulfilled. Thus 
nearly seven years passed, and the Prince and 
Princess of Piedmont at last accepted with Christian 
resignation what they both believed to be God's 

They even went farther. We know it on the 
testimony of the Prince himself, for after Marie- 
Clotilde's death he made the following declaration : 
" During the last twenty years we have lived 
together as brother and sister, having resolved to 
continue thus to the end of our life, although we did 


not bind ourselves by a vow. But we have expressly 
renewed our intention several times." 

Taught by their faith that this was a way of 
higher perfection, those two faithful souls did not 
hesitate, once they found that their union had not 
been blessed with the blessing of fruitfulness. They 
took it that the meaning was that they must seek 
the sanctification of their union on another path. 
The Prince was then thirty-two, and Marie-Clotilde 
about twenty-four. 



Before we continue our narrative of Marie-CIotilde's 
life at Turin, we must briefly consider the political 
situation of the Sardinian kingdom, and the position 
of the Prince of Piedmont at his father's Court. 
This will enable us to understand more clearly 
Marie-Clotilde's attitude and conduct, and the diffi- 
culties she had to contend with. 

Victor- Amadeus, her father-in-law, was forty-seven 
years old when he came to the throne. A man of 
amiable and generous character, he was not a man 
of large ideas ; he had good intentions as a ruler, 
but he lacked foresight. In ordinary times his reign 
would have been, on the whole, a beneficent and 
successful one. But he lived in days when new 
ideas which he could not understand were rapidly 
spreading over his kingdom. Animated by the 
military spirit of the Princes of his House, he only 
dreamt of military glory. Consequently, as soon as 



he found himself seated on the throne, he at once 
set himself to reorganize his army, before he had 
acquired the experience required for such a task. 
Immense sums of money were wasted injudiciously ; 
serious discontent was produced in the ranks of his 
troops by unwise methods of promotion, so that, after 
thirteen years of useless efforts, Victor-Amadeus 
found himself at the head of a large but totally 
inefficient army. He had to begin his work over 

Meanwhile, events in the neighbour kingdom of 
France were causing Victor-Amadeus very grave 
anxiety. At first, under the influence of old, short- 
sighted counsellors, he had not believed in the 
possibility of a Revolution in France ; he thought 
he had taken sufficient precautions when he had 
forbidden the entrance of certain French books into 
Piedmont, imprisoned or banished a number of 
people suspected of Liberal tendencies, and hastened 
the reorganization of the army. But these measures 
had irritated the population of Turin without in- 
creasing in any way his security. Clandestine 
meetings took place ; every evening in the cafes the 
news from France, which the Sardinian Government 
endeavoured to suppress, was being discussed with 
the usual exaggerations in such cases by local 


orators in full sympathy with the revolutionary 
principles imported from Paris. It was becoming 
evident that, even if no aggression was to be appre- 
hended on the part of France, the Sardinian Govern- 
ment would have to deal with a dangerous political 
agitation at home. The taking of the Bastille in 
Paris was calling forth, not in Piedmont alone, but 
all over Italy, ideas and aspirations long silently 
cherished by many of her thinkers, but now about 
to assume a practical shape in the minds of men 
of action. 

At this juncture the position of the Prince of 
Piedmont was a difficult one. His relations with 
the King his father had for some time been some- 
what strained, and it is not easy to say who was 
more to blame for that unsatisfactory state of affairs. 

Charles-Emmanuel's constitution had always been 
weak, and had prevented him from sharing the 
military occupations of his brothers ; his mind was 
keen and observant, his moral character blameless ; 
generally cold and silent, he was rather inclined to 
make scornful remarks, but his good sense moderated 
that tendency. There was, however, in him a dis- 
position to melancholy, joined to an extreme nervous 
sensitiveness, often degenerating into painful con- 
vulsive explosions, which became later on very 


violent and frequent, especially during the terrible 
political troubles which soon followed his accession 
to the throne. 

This disposition was for Marie-Clotilde a source 
of much anxiety and pain, and must have severely 
tried even her angelic patience. His affection for 
his wife was very real and strong, his trust in her 
never wavered ; but when those nervous fits came 
over him he lost all control of himself, and the 
Princess had continually to intervene between her 
husband and the King. She constantly en- 
deavoured to appease the King by leading him to 
think that it was she herself who was to blame. 
But he soon saw through this, and could not be 
deceived. Yet he admired the touching devotion 
of his daughter-in-law, and called her the " angel 
of peace." 

However, this situation rendered the position of 
Charles-Emmanuel, as heir-apparent, particularly 
difficult. Called to take his place in the Council 
of State by the side of his father, he found it 
often impossible to agree with all the views 
expressed or the decisions taken. He saw the 
weak points of the King's Government, he realized 
the dangers created by the growing Revolution at 
their door, and yet he could not openly blame the 



King's Ministers, with whom the King was in 
general agreement. Under these circumstances 
a Crown Prince has no other course open to him 
but to remain silent, to avoid appearing to form a 
party around him in opposition to the Sovereign 
and his advisers, and to select forms of activity 
which are not open to suspicion. 

Too much zeal would be interpreted as a dis- 
position to intrigue, while too much resignation is 
apt to give the Prince a bad name for apathy and 
uselessness among the people. Charles-Emmanuel 
was not always wise in the way in which he expressed 
his opinions in Council, even when the opinion itself 
was a wise one ; while the King was too ready to 
take offence at what he conceived to be a mere 
spirit of opposition on the part of his son. 

Thus, one day Victor-Amadeus had sharply repri- 
manded the Prince because he had expressed a view 
of the political situation which had greatly displeased 
him. Charles-Emmanuel remained silent, and began 
to play with his watch ; but some time later, being 
asked his opinion by the King about an important 
matter under discussion, he is said to have answered : 
" I am only concerned about regulating my watch ; 
it now goes very well." Such an attitude was not 
likely to improve matters, and poor Marie-Clotilde 


found it increasingly difficult to maintain peace in 
the Royal Family. 

Yet, Charles- Emmanuel, apart from the painful 
scenes caused by his nervous temperament, over 
which he had at times no control, was a deeply 
religious man ; when in a normal state, he was 
always ready to listen to his wife's wise counsel, 
and he fully shared her pious practices. They read 
devotional books together every morning, and the 
Prince often liked to sing, his wife accompanying 
him with her guitar. He was also very fond of 
walking, and Marie- Clotilde was always ready to 
walk with him, although that form of exercise tired 
her very much. Their great delight was to get 
free from the life and etiquette of the Court, and to 
go and stay during the summer months at Moncalieri 
or la Veneria. 

Marie-Clotilde was a most efficient and attentive 
nurse, and she had frequent occasions to exercise 
her nursing capacities, for, as we have said, the 
Prince had delicate health and suffered from 
frequent attacks of illness. She would allow no 
one to take her place at her husband's bedside, 
by day or night, and, pious as she was, she would 
at such times forgo all her practices of devotion in 
order to attend to him. She called that "leaving 


God for God." It was one of her favourite 

Meanwhile the political situation in France was 
getting more and more disquieting. After the 
taking of the Bastille on the 14th of July, 1789, 
the popular animosity against the King's brother, 
the Comte d'Artois, and the Queen, Marie- 
Antoinette, who were both supposed to encourage 
Louis XVI. to resist the demands of the nation, 
grew so fierce that it was considered prudent that the 
Comte d'Artois should leave the country for a 
time. As his wife, Maria-Theresa of Savoy, was 
a daughter of the King of Sardinia, he directed 
his steps, on leaving France, towards the kingdom 
of his father-in-law, and arrived there in September, 
followed soon afterwards by the Comtesse d'Artois 
and their two sons, the Due d'Angouleme and the 
Due de Berry. The former was then about sixteen, 
and his brother thirteen, years old. 

Victor-Amadeus received his son-in-law and his 
family with the greatest cordiality, but their arrival 
made him realize the dangers which threatened his 
kingdom as he had never done before. Marie- 
Clotilde's happiness at seeing her brother again was 
intense, and she nearly fainted for joy at their first 
interview. But joy soon gave place to sadness, when 


To face p. 52. 


she heard the news which her brother had to give, 
and which confirmed only too well the letters of 
Madame Elizabeth to her, and her own apprehen- 
sions. A little later arrived also the Prince de Cond^, 
the Due d'Enghien, his aunt Louise de Cond6, 
and in March, 1791, Mesdames Adelaide and 
Victoire, daughters of Louis XV., Marie-Clotilde's 
aunts. They had met with considerable difficulties 
on their journey until they reached the frontier of 
Savoy, owing to the threatening attitude of the 
population in the provinces through which they had 
to pass. But King Victor-Amadeus ordered that 
they should be received within his dominions with 
all royal honours. The Comte d'Artois went to 
meet them as far as Novalese, at the foot of Mont 
Cenis, and the Prince and Princess of Piedmont 
awaited them at Rivoli. Thus Marie-Clotilde met 
for the last time some of the members of her family, 
driven across the Alps by the first fury of the storm 
in which the others were to perish. 

Before they separated, the Prince de Cond^ on 
his way to Worms, the Comte d'Artois going to 
Coblence, and the Princesses Adelaide and Victoire 
to Austria, the King gathered them all around his 
table at a dinner given on the 14th of March, 1791. 
King Victor-Amadeus wished to have the Due de 



Berry, the youngest of his grandchildren, next to 
him. The Prince of Piedmont sat between the 
Comte and Comtesse d'Artois ; Marie-Clotilde sat 
between Madame Adelaide and Madame Victoire. 
In spite of the efforts of the guests to be cheerful, 
they could not hide the feelings of anxiety which 
oppressed them. The Due de G^nevois, in his 
journal, notices the circumstance, and says : " They 
appeared full of sadness, and we were all so embar- 
rassed that I did not know what to say." 

From the same journal we hear also of the false 
hopes, the anxious waiting for news, the perplexity 
and fear which filled the Royal Family at Turin when 
they learnt that Louis XVI., Marie- Antoinette, and 
their children, and Madame Elizabeth, had made an 
attempt to escape out of Paris and to reach the 
frontier. Gradually, news came that they had been 
arrested at Varennes ; then this was contradicted. 
Verdun was mentioned instead of Varennes. Later 
on a messenger arrived bearing the assurance that 
the French Royal Family was safely out of France. 
It is only a few days later that the truth at Icist 
came to be known at Turin. 

We can imagine what the faithful, tender-hearted 
Marie-Clotilde went through during those terrible 
days. Yet she could only realize a small portion 


of the sufferings of her unfortunate relatives. She 
could not then know the details of that awful 
journey back to Paris, after their capture at 
Varennes, and she did not fully understand the 
situation created by the attempt to escape from the 
moral torture and the daily humiliations of her 
brother's situation in Paris. It had not yet entered 
the mind of anyone in Turin that his life and that 
of his wife and his sister could be actually in danger. 

Meanwhile, the Comtesse d'Artois received a 
letter from her sister, the Comtesse de Provence, 
announcing that she and her husband, the Comte 
de Provence, had safely reached Brussels. They 
had left Paris on the same evening that Louis XVI. 
and Marie-Antoinette made their escape, but their 
journey had been more prudently arranged ; they 
had started separately, without any of the precau- 
tions and elaborate arrangements which only served 
to defeat the purpose of the King and Queen, and 
to betray them. Consequently, they reached the 
frontier with little difficulty. 

On the 25th of July it became known that the 
Comtesse de Provence was coming to Turin. 
'• Piedmont has told me," writes the Due de 
Genevois in his journal, " that Madame is coming 
here, but that the King insists on her coming 


alone. . . . Anyhow, one thing is certain — where she 
is at present, she is starving and without a penny." 

The Comtesse de Provence only arrived at Turin 
at the beginning of 1 792. Much as her father desired 
to see her again, he was anxious to avoid giving 
any apparent provocation to the French Govern- 
ment, or any pretext for aggression. Hence his 
desire that his daughter, if she came, should come 
alone. Already his difficulties were increased by 
the large number of French ^migr^s which filled 
Nice, Chambery, Annecy, and Turin. 

At that time we find in Turin the Due de Laval 
and his sons, the Marquis de Montesson, the Due 
and Duchesse de Polignae, the Comtesse Diane de 
Polignac, the Vicomtesse de Vaudreuil ; later on 
arrived the Prince de Tarente, the Prince de Rohan- 
Guemen^e, the Marquis de Barentin, d'Escars, de 
Ferronni^re, the Comte and Comtesse de Vintimille, 
the Comtes de L^vis, de Grammont de Gourville, 
de Faucigny, the Vicomte de Mirabeau, the 
Chevalier de la Tremoille, Messieurs Walsh de 
S6ran, de Lally-Tolendal, de Montmorency de la 
Rochelambert, de Suffren, and many more, whose 
presence in Turin was reported by the Minister of 
France to his Government. 

Those embarrassing guests were placing Victor- 


Amadeus in a most uncomfortable position. France 
watched how he treated them ; his own subjects 
objected to them, and he himself, while anxious 
to show them due civility, could hardly hide his 
annoyance. It was certainly justified by the attitude 
of many of the French refugees, particularly at 
Chambery, where they established themselves as 
in a conquered country, laughing at the old customs 
of the place, the dresses of the ladies, and the ways 
of the population, and, moreover, making no secret 
of their intention to use the hospitality they were 
receiving in Savoy in order to organize in it a 
centre of counter-revolution. Exasperated, the in- 
habitants of Chambery at last one day attacked the 
French refugees as they were celebrating the 
marriage of the old Marquis de Morfontaine with 
a young widow, Madame de Savigny, and by 
sheer weight of numbers compelled them to seek 
refuge in a house, in which they had to remain 
until the darkness of the night made it possible 
for them to effect their escape. 

This affair made much noise, as may easily be 
imagined. Victor-Amadeus was loudly declared in 
Paris to be an enemy of the French Revolution, 
and his own people openly complained of the 
toleration shown towards foreigners who mis- 


behaved themselves, endangered the peace of the 
country, and increased the cost of living by their 
extravagant ways. 

On the other hand, while the nobility of Savoy 
sympathized with the French imigrh, the bour- 
geoisie and the lower classes were much affected by 
the political agitation on the other side of the 
frontier. Their dislike of the ^migris was largely 
due, not so much to their behaviour, as to the 
principles they represented. Many of the Pied- 
montese expressed the hope that the French would 
soon bring the "spark of revolt" into their midst, 
and enable them to have a share in the glorious 
work of regeneration. Was France going to find 
allies within his own borders when she determined 
to invade them ? Such was the anxious problem 
forced upon Victor-Amadeus by the situation. 

The problem for Marie-Clotilde took another 
form : how to reconcile her own French sympathies 
with her duties as a Princess of Savoy ? It was a 
cruel position. She tried to help as many of the 
French refugees as she could, a large number of 
them being absolutely penniless, without com- 
promising the King or attracting the attention of 
the French Minister, who narrowly watched the 
attitude of the Court towards the dmigrds. 


She laboured incessantly in that charitable mission, 
visiting the sick, relieving the poor, working with 
her own hands to provide garments for the women 
and children, all the time thinking of those she 
loved, about whom the most distressing news 
reached her day by day, yet whom she was power- 
less to help in any way, except by her silent prayers. 
In these she was most assiduous, unless charity 
compelled her to "leave God for God," as she said. 
Two hours before anyone else, in the palace, she 
was up and already engaged in her devotions. 

One of her women who was deeply attached to 
her often endeavoured to rise as early as her mistress, 
in order to be ready in case she should have need 
of her, and the good woman would say to the 
Princess : " I really think that at this hour only the 
angels. Your Royal Highness, and I, are awake !" 
She did not know that Marie- CI otilde had often 
been in her oratory for some hours already when 
she came to offer her services. 

It was during those hours of meditation before 
God that Marie-Clotilde found strength for the 
painful task laid upon her by the political calamities 
about to overwhelm her adopted country ; then, 
also, she had those clear views of the position of 
affairs in France which enabled her to foresee what 


people around her at Turin still failed to under- 
stand ; during those hours, no doubt, she learnt 
above all the wisdom of that detachment from 
earthly vanities which her birth, her exalted rank, 
and the atmosphere of Courts, could not teach 
her, and she acquired her perfect simplicity and 
sweetness towards all those, whether rich or poor, 
who approached her. 

Thus once, having heard of an old woman who 
was said to be deeply versed in spiritual things, she 
asked the woman to come and see her, conversed 
with her for a long time, and desired that she should 
come often to the palace. This was not her way 
with rich people, for she was most careful of her time 
and never invited visits of mere ceremony. She came 
to know that the old woman was very poor, and 
arranged at once with a good man called Jean- 
Louis Morandi, who was the usual channel of her 
charities, that the woman's needs should be liberally 
supplied. "Above all," the Princess told him, "see 
that she gets good fresh bread every day, not stale 
bread, because she has very few teeth." All her 
charities were characterized by this attention to 
details and the personal interest she took in each 
case. She was not satisfied to head subscription 
lists or to do good by deputy. 


We also recognize her good sense and her superior 
view of religious things in her kind attentions to the 
Comtesse d'Artois, who had remained at Turin after 
the departure of her husband. The Comtesse, since 
the beginning of the troubles in France, had given 
way to a sombre melancholy, which of late had 
developed into an alarming morose condition. She 
would remain for days in her apartments, with all the 
shutters closed, so as to exclude the light ; nothing 
seemed to rouse her out of her torpor. She con- 
stantly repeated that nothing would ever make her 
return to France, and finally announced her intention 
of entering a convent. Marie- Clotilde, with her 
usual delicate tact, succeeded in gaining the affection 
and trust of the poor Princess, and gradually made 
her understand that she had duties as a wife and a 
mother which she was not free to relinquish in order 
to follow her present inclination, without even the 
assurance that God called her to such a vocation. 

She led the Comtesse d'Artois to realize that her 
religious aspirations could be satisfied in the world, 
and in her present position, if she would try to 
sanctify herself in the duties of her station, instead 
of dreaming of a life which she could only follow by 
neglecting those duties. 

No one could have spoken on this subject with 


more authority than Marie-CIotilde herself, who, 
with her profound piety and her frequent aspira- 
tions after the peace of a cloistered life, nevertheless 
bravely sought her sanctification where God had 
placed her, and never thought it a virtue to seek 
it elsewhere. Had not her Master said of Himself: 
" I came not to do Mine own will, but the will of 
Him that sent Me"? 

Marie-Clotilde succeeded in leading the aspira- 
tions of her sister-in-law into the right path, and 
in later years the Comtesse d'Artois always spoke 
with gratitude of all she owed to her. During the 
Comtesse's last illness at Gratz in 1805, three years 
after the death of Marie-Clotilde, she directed that 
after her own death her heart should be enclosed in 
an urn and placed in the tomb of her saintly friend. 
This desire was fulfilled in 1839 by the care of her 
son, the Due d'Angoul^me. 



In the spring of 1792 the conflict between France 
and the Sardinian kingdom could have been averted 
if the Government in Paris had been animated by 
the spirit of moderation and conciliation manifested 
by Victor-Amadeus 1 1 1. Although strongly opposed 
to the Revolution, by interest and by principles, 
nevertheless the King of Sardinia, feeling his own 
weakness, and not knowing how far he might rely 
on the dispositions of Prussia and Austria towards 
France and towards himself, hesitated to join any 
coalition, still hoping in some way or other to 
obtain peace. 

His son, the Prince of Piedmont, entirely agreed 
with him — at any rate, on this point — and strongly 
advised a peace policy. But public opinion in Paris, 



excited by exaggerated reports of the intrigues of 
the French refugees in Savoy and Piedmont, and by 
a belief that the Sardinian Court was helping them, 
and was only waiting for an opportunity to join the 
enemies of France, clamoured for immediate action. 
The despatch of troops into Savoy by the Sardinian 
Government, as a measure of precaution, was at once 
seized upon by France as a pretext for beginning 
hostilities. General Anselme, who commanded the 
French army established on the River Var, received 
on the 28th of September orders from Paris to operate, 
in conjunction with the fleet of Admiral Truguet, 
against Nice and Savoy. Surprised and badly led, 
the Sardinian troops gave way before the invading 
force, and Nice fell an easy prey to the French. 

The fortresses of Montalban and Villefranche 
capitulated without any resistance, and Savoy, like 
Nice, was occupied by General Anselme before any 
real opposition had been offered to his arms. The 
Piedmontese troops, however, stood on the defensive 
in the Alps, and the French General hesitated to 
attack them in the strong positions they occupied in 
the mountains. 

In November, 1792, a decree of the Convention 
proclaimed the independence of all peoples, and 
promised the support of France to all nations 


struggling to throw off the yoke of monarchy. 
This formal provocation was at once followed by 
a coalition of England, Spain, Germany, Holland, 
Naples, Prussia, and Austria, against France. 
Admiral Truguet, with some troops placed at his 
disposal by General Anselme, now attacked the 
island of Sardinia, which was not supposed to be in 
a position to offer any serious resistance. But this 
unjust aggression had the effect of awakening among 
the Sardinian population the most heroic patriotism. 
Their resistance was such that Admiral Truguet, 
after desperate fighting, was compelled to abandon 
his attempt, with considerable losses in men and 

This failure in Sardinia and the occupation of 
Corsica by England greatly encouraged Victor- 
Amadeus, who, having no further cause for hesi- 
tation, in April, 1793, made a formal treaty with 
England and Austria against their common enemy. 
No other policy was now open to him. Yet he 
entered upon this course with deep anxiety and 
sadness, placed, as he found himself, between allies 
upon whom he did not altogether rely, and France, 
whose revolutionary Government had now shown 
the world how far it was prepared to go in the 
assertion of its principles. For, while Victor- 



Amadeus was maturing his plans for the defence of 
his kingdom, the news had reached Turin of the 
execution of Louis XVI. in Paris, on the 21st of 
January, 1793. 

The journal of the Due de G^nevois tells us how 
the terrible news fell upon Marie-Clotilde. " We 
learnt," he says, " from the King that the announce- 
ment of her brother's death was being confirmed 
from all quarters. After Mass we went up to the 
Princess's apartments. She was in bed, and shed 
many tears ; but she showed a strength of soul 
beyond anything that can be imagined." She in- 
sisted, in spite of her own prostrate condition, on 
accompanying her husband to the room of the 
Comtesse d'Artois, who, she thought, had not yet 
heard the fatal news. But she had already been 
informed. Marie - Clotilde, concealing her own 
emotion, spoke to her with great calm, and urged 
upon her the duty of resignation, saying that God 
knew how to turn the greatest misfortunes to good 
issues. That act of charity accomplished, she re- 
turned to her own room and gave free course to 
her sorrow. 

Two days later the Minister of the Genoese 
Republic at Turin wrote in a letter : " The Princess 
of Piedmont has been compelled by her extreme 


affliction to keep to her bed, and she finds her only- 
consolation in her great piety. She submits herself 
to God's will, and considers her unfortunate brother 
as a martyr, because of the constancy with which he 
has opposed the persecution of religion and of the 
clergy, and the firmness he has shown in his attach- 
ment to the Catholic faith." 

This idea that her brother had died a martyr 
gradually became in her a positive conviction, and 
she looked upon his death as a glorious triumph, for 
which she made fervent thanksgivings to God. 

It was a real happiness for her to hear people 
speak of Louis XVL as a martyr. She could con- 
ceive no greater honour, and she asked God (as 
appears from one of her letters to the Abb6 Marconi) 
to count her worthy to give her own life in His 
service, as her brother had done. 

Our readers will no doubt like to see the repro- 
duction given here of the autograph letter written 
by Marie-Clotilde to the Prince de Conde soon 
after the execution of Louis XVL 

** My Cousin, 

" I have received with much feeling the letter 
you have written to me in the circumstance most 


painful to my heart. I did not doubt your own 
deep affliction, knowing so well your sentiments 
and your particular devotion to our too unfortunate 
relatives. He whom we have just lost in so unjust 
and barbarous a manner is certainly now our pro- 
tector before God. My only consolation lies in the 
assurance of his eternal happiness, and the hope that 
he will obtain from the Divine mercy the end of 
our misfortunes. 

"Accept, I pray you, my thanks for your kind 
remembrance of me, and the assurance of the sincere 
and devoted sentiments with which I am, 

" Your affectionate Cousin, 

•' Marie-Clotilde." 

She knew that Louis XVI. had openly declared 
that he forgave his persecutors, and she wished to 
do the same with entire sincerity. Before long an 
occasion presented itself for her to test her own 
feelings in this respect. The French Republic had 
appointed Ginguene as Ambassador to the Court 
of Turin. This appointment gave great pain, for at 
that time it was believed in Turin that Ginguen^ 
had voted the death of Louis XVL As a matter of 
fact, he could not have done it, since he was not a 
member of the Convention. But this came to be 

f/Hc*^^ Com in ^ "^'tU uecw aMce- Ci'asu «>«» ^CL,/elt''(M'(/'iL[ '^^ 

■fiavTi'ettAia^ ptouv *<aj w'W t^^ck'litti^rrn*^ ^nYtx^^ cc'ui tftn*^ t<onj f^rtoufi 

tyf/'a yt'f ^/ff fi €Jt^ 



(Reduced one-half.) 

To /ace p. 68. 


understood only somewhat later. Meanwhile, Marie- 
Clotilde trembled at the thought that she would have 
to receive officially such an Ambassador. She prayed 
much, and she asked the prayers of the Sisters of a 
monastery which she often visited, to obtain strength 
for that ordeal. 

One of the Sisters has stated that Marie- 
Clotilde's great anxiety was to forgive the man 
with all her heart, but at the same time to receive 
him with a certain cold reserve, very different 
from her usual cheerful manner, so that he should 
realize the evil he had done in sending to the scaffold 
his Sovereign and an innocent man. Yet she was 
afraid lest there should be the least shade of resent- 
ment in her attitude. Saints have such scruples. 
Hence her desire that the good Sisters should ask 
God to give her grace and strength to do what she 
had to do without failing in the duty of forgiveness 
towards our enemies. 

The poor Princess seems to have received the 
strength she had so earnestly prayed for. Ginguen6 
and his wife had their audience, and we are told that 
they were both immensely impressed by Marie- 
Clotilde's dignified yet gracious manner, so different 
from what they had probably expected, knowing her 
to be the sister of Louis XVI. Before her they lost 



all their assurance, and were seen to tremble while 
going through the customary forms of presentation. 
Yet they were not aware of the misunderstanding 
which so greatly increased Marie-Clotilde's difficulty 
and merit in receiving them so graciously. 

The execution of Queen Marie-Antoinette was 
hardly a surprise to her. She had long foreseen 
the course of events in France, but it confirmed 
her fears concerning Madame Elizabeth, still a 
prisoner in the Temple. We have seen how great 
and genuine was the affection which united the two 
sisters. Time and separation had only increased it; 
anxiety and suffering had deepened it. That beloved 
sister beyond the Alps was identified with Marie- 
Clotilde's dearest memories of her native France, 
in that Bourbon heart of hers, so tender and pure, 
so brave and generous — something of the spirit of 
St. Louis joined to all that was best in the heroic 
soul of Henri of Navarre. 

When the news of Madame Elizabeth's death on 
the scaffold reached Turin, the Royal Family kept it 
from her until the following morning. It was 
thought best to inform her of it at the conclusion 
of her usual morning devotions. Her husband took 
upon himself this painful duty. Accompanied by 
his chaplain, Charles- Emmanuel went to his wife's 


room ; holding a crucifix in his hand, and approach- 
ing her, in a voice which only too clearly betrayed 
his emotion, he spoke simply these words: "A great 
sacrifice must be offered to God." Marie-Clotilde 
understood at once his meaning, and answered : 
" The sacrifice is made." This expressed the 
sublime resignation of her will to the Divine will. 
But the will was stronger than flesh and blood 
in her ; hardly had she spoken, when she fell 
fainting on the floor. The physician called to her 
assistance found her motionless and in a state of 
rigid immobility, her face red and burning. He 
thought she was dying, but the administration of a 
cordial brought her back to consciousness almost at 
once, and, looking calmly at those around her, she 
rose without uttering a single word of complaint. 

She declined to go to bed, as the physician advised 
her to do, and when the dinner - hour came she 
joined the family circle and sat at table as usual, 
even taking part to some extent in the conversation. 
She could not, however, altogether disguise the 
violence she was doing to herself, and all were 
amazed at her self-control. When Morandi, her 
man of business, came to take her orders, she said 
to him : " You will have heard of the death of my 
sister Elizabeth. She was a holy woman, I assure 


you, and people in France knew it. I can only 
attribute her death to a grace from God, who wished 
thus to reward her virtues." Then she added 
simply, " Order my usual mourning things," and 
dismissed him without any further sign of emotion. 

It was much noticed that Marie-Clotilde did not 
utter a single word of resentment against the men 
who had done her sister to death. She only spoke 
of her in order to mention some special trait of her 
virtuous life. She desired to have a copy of the 
touching prayer composed by Madame Elizabeth in 
the midst of her sufferings; she often used it herself, 
and loved to make it known to others. Here are the 
original words of Madame Elizabeth's well-known 

•' Que m'arrivera-t-il, O mon Dieu ! Je I'ignore. 
Tout ce que je sais, c'est qu'il ne m'arrivera rien 
que vous ne I'ayez pr^vu de toute eternit6. Cela me 
suffit, O mon Dieu, pour etre tranquille. J 'adore 
vos desseins 6ternels, je me soumets de tout mon 
ccEur. Je veux tout, j'accepte tout. Je vous fais 
le sacrifice de tout. J'unis ce sacrifice ci celui de 
votre cher Fils, mon Sauveur, vous demandant par 
son Coeur Sacre et ses m^rites infinis la patience dans 
nos maux et la parfaite soumission qui vous est due 
pour tout ce que vous voudrez et permettrez. Amen." 


The death of her beloved sister was a solemn 
turning-point in Marie- Clotilde's life. Her piety- 
assumed from that day a character of austerity, a 
depth of spiritual earnestness, an intensity of detach- 
ment from earthly things, which, in spite of her 
efforts, could not be concealed from those about her. 
She had often wished to give up wearing the rich silk 
dresses considered necessary for one in her exalted 
station. She did not see how their use could be 
logically reconciled with the penitential attitude 
of mind required of all by the terrible calamities 
threatening the kingdom at that time. The 
Cardinal-Archbishop of Turin, consulted by her, 
was at first inclined to recommend a compromise. 
She might, he thought, wear black dresses only, but 
yet of silk. Woollen garments were singular for one 
in her position, and the ladies of the Court would 
not be so likely to follow her example if she went 
so far. 

Marie-Clotilde, as many of us, no doubt, have 
often done, was seeking advice while her mind was 
already made up. She objected that with silk 
dresses she must wear her jewels, and she was 
absolutely determined never to wear them again. 
She added that she felt inspired to give their people 
an example of humility suited to the present political 


crisis, and that woollen garments would do that 
much more effectually. The prelate at last gave 
way, and she readily obtained permission from the 
King and from the Prince her husband. From 
that time she only wore blue woollen dresses (except 
during mourning, when she wore black) ; she ceased 
to wear jewels of any kind, or lace of any value ; she 
also had her hair cut very short. On her finger 
she wore a gold ring, on which were engraved two 
hearts, and a small cross hung from her neck. 

Nor was her desire to imitate her Saviour in His 
poverty satisfied by those very plainly cut woollen 
garments. She wore them so long that they had 
to be repaired again and again, until one day one of 
her women, who had charge of her wardrobe, said to 
her : " Truly, your Majesty has vowed to wear only 
woollen things; but if they have to be repaired much 
longer, I think they will contain more silk than 

With her usual kind manner, she gently smiled, 
but made no change in her arrangements, when, 
suddenly, the idea occurred to her that her efforts in 
the direction of Evangelical poverty were leading 
her into a kind of injustice. Were not the women 
attached to her service accustomed to look upon her 
dresses as their proper perquisite after they had been 


worn for some time ? Was she not, therefore, 
depriving them of what they had a right to expect, 
by having no dresses at all to give them ? At last 
she solved this curious case of conscience by assuring 
the ladies of her household that she would see that 
they were not losers by her voluntary poverty. 

In one way, at any rate, Marie-Clotilde was able 
to attain her object, thanks to those blue gowns. 
For a long time she had tried to get free of the 
obligation to frequent theatres, but the King and her 
husband, Charles-Emmanuel, always insisted that she 
could not neglect her duty of appearing there some- 
times. Now was her opportunity. She represented 
that it would be unseemly for her to show herself in 
the royal box in a penitential garb, and that she 
must therefore abstain from going to theatres. The 
argument was so unexpected, and seemed so plausible, 
that the King and Charles-Emmanuel considered it 
unanswerable, and she had her way. 

Our will is never so strong as when we have 
resolved to have no other will but God's ; for we are 
then animated by a deeper conviction that His will 
must be carried out. Thus it is that some of the 
noblest as well as some of the worst deeds which 
history has to record have been committed through 
this form of zeal, so difficult it is to be always 


sure that we are not merely investing our own will, 
or view, or desire, with a Divine sanction. In this 
case, it is clear that Marie-Clotilde was acting from 
the purest motives. Yet we may doubt how far 
she was doing justice to the claims of her position, 
and how far she was helping to raise the tone of 
society by absenting herself from amusements which 
cannot altogether be suppressed. Probably the 
worldly-wise would at once decide that she was 
mistaken, but the story of her life may well lead 
us at least to suspend our judgment. 



As we have seen in the preceding chapter, King 
Victor - Amadeus, in presence of the definite 
aggression of the French Republic, had no other 
course open to him but to join the coaHtion, and to 
resist by all means the invasion of his kingdom. 
He entrusted the command of his army to the 
Due de Chablais, his brother, a Prince possessed 
of considerable abilities. The army itself, re- 
organized by Victor-Amadeus, in the light of his 
previous failure, was now in a much better condition. 
His sons, the Dues d'Aostaand de Montferrat, were 
each given the command of an army corps. General 
Strasoldo with 5,000 men guarded the valley of 
Stura, and with him was Prince Charles- Emmanuel 
of Carignano; while the valleys of Luzerna and San 
Martino were defended by the brave Waldensian 
troops under General Miranda. 



General Brunei, at the head of 25,000 Republican 
troops, attacked with energy the Sardinian army ; 
but he failed to appreciate the difficulties of the 
mountainous country in which he was operating, and 
suffered a severe defeat, soon followed by a still graver 
disaster in his hasty efforts to retrieve his position. 

The Republican General Kellerman, who was 
then at Nice, promptly came to survey the whole 
situation, and, fearing to see his army cut in two by 
an advance of the Sardinians towards the River 
Var, he at once altered his line of defence, and 
effectually fortified the important positions of Brois, 
Mantegas, and Tuet. At the same time the Due 
de Chablais and the Austrian General Wins, who 
shared with him the supreme command, were also 
strengthening themselves by the erection of redoubts 
connecting together Saorgio, Rails, and Les 

The coalition seemed triumphant. The Repub- 
licans had met with a severe check in Savoy ; in 
France the west and south were in open revolt ; 
Bordeaux, Marseilles, Lyons, Toulon, had declared 
themselves on the side of the Monarchy, then 
represented by the poor little victim in the Temple 
prison known to history as Louis XVIL 

Toulon had actually surrendered to Admiral 


Hood, and King Victor-Amadeus sent 3,000 men 
to defend that port against the armies of the 
Republic. He was also ready to send troops to 
Lyons in answer to an urgent appeal from that 
city ; but General Wins vehemently opposed the 
idea, saying that the King of Sardinia had not 
sufficient men to send any of them so far. 

As a matter of fact, Austria, in pretending to help 
Sardinia by the despatch of 6,000 poor troops, really 
meant to secure for herself, and for her ultimate 
benefit, the supreme direction of the war. It soon 
became clear that General Wins was hindering rather 
than favouring the recapture of Nice and Savoy. As 
Marquis Costa de Beauregard has truly said : " The 
least success obtained by the King's troops, or any 
useful or boldly-conceived movement, provoked the 
unrestrained anger of the Austrian General." 

Victor-Amadeus applied to the Emperor for the 
use of his troops which remained unemployed in 
Lombardy. Then the views entertained at Vienna 
became clear: the Austrian Government would help 
to reconquer Nice, Savoy, and any other parts lost 
to the French, but, as a compensation, the King of 
Sardinia must restore to Austria the provinces ceded 
to his predecessor, Charles- Emmanuel III., by the 
Empress Maria-Theresa. 


Victor-Amadeus was indignant when these pro- 
posals reached him. He then understood why the 
Austrian General was so anxious that he should not 
succeed by his own efforts. Even at that critical 
moment he nobly refused to sacrifice the honour and 
integrity of his kingdom, and rejected the Austrian 
proposals, with the heroic spirit of his House, choosing 
to fight alone even against such tremendous odds. 

In spite of certain defects of character, it must be 
recognized that Victor-Amadeus HI., in presence 
of danger, showed himself endowed with true kingly 
qualities. Here was an old man, standing alone, 
with a small kingdom invaded partly by the soldiers 
of the French Revolution and partly by its ideas, 
and yet preferring to trust to the valour and loyalty 
of his people rather than purchase the alliance of 
a powerful neighbour by a disgraceful bargain. It 
is impossible not to admire his courage and the 
faithfulness with which he held firmly to what he 
conceived to be his royal duty. 

Meanwhile, Kellerman was working hard to regain 
the positions compromised by the successful move- 
ments of the Due de MontferraL The Piedmontese 
army was forced to give way before the advance of 
the Republicans ; but the Due de Montferrat dis- 
tinguished himself by the able and courageous 


manner in which he handled his troops, keeping the 
French at bay during a whole day, and finally saving 
his baggage and ammunition, and effecting his 
retreat in good order. 

Victor-Amadeus, ever preoccupied by the idea of 
regaining Nice, which he loved, and whose popula- 
tion remained faithful to him in spite of the French 
occupation, resolved at last, notwithstanding his 
advanced age, to place himself at the head of his 
troops and to deliver Nice. The Prince of Piedmont 
and the Due d'Aosta were each given the com- 
mand of an army corps, and the departure of the. 
King was fixed for the 21st of August. 

This resolution of the old King caused an out- 
burst of sincere enthusiasm among his subjects 
On the day when he was to leave Turin, the streets 
from early morning became filled with masses of 
people anxious to look, perhaps for the last time, 
upon the venerable features of their Sovereign. In 
the palace, Victor-Amadeus, in full uniform, accom- 
panied by the Prince of Piedmont and the Due 
d'Aosta, was making his last preparations before 
starting for a campaign so full of uncertainty and 
danger. He realized the grave responsibility 
involved in his decision, and sadly pondered over 
the possible consequences of thus leaving his capital 


almost without troops, in the hands of its inhabitants, 
so many of whom he could not trust, owing to 
the rapid progress of revolutionary ideas among 

He passed with his sons into the apartments of 
Marie-Clotilde. She was there, in her usual blue 
woollen dress, her head covered with a plain cap 
of white mousseline without any ornaments. The 
Duchesse d'Aosta was with her. The two Princesses, 
on seeing the King, fell on their knees, begging his 
blessing. He endeavoured to encourage them, 
speaking with a confidence he scarcely felt, of his 
prompt return at the head of his victorious army. 
He asked Marie-Clotilde to pray for him. Her 
answer, full of the hope and strength which her own 
firm faith inspired, caused a corresponding move- 
ment of enthusiastic faith in the King himself. 
Raising his eyes to heaven, and placing his hand 
upon the hilt of his sword, he is said to have ex- 
claimed, " Nice or Superga,"* which meant, to 
reconquer Nice or to die. Then, giving his arm to 
the Princess of Piedmont, he passed with his sons 
and the Duchesse d'Aosta into the dining-room, 

* The Superga is the royal burial church, a handsome edifice 
conspicuously situated on a hill to the east of Turin. Begun in 
1718, from designs by J u vara, it was completed in 1731. 


to partake for the last time of breakfast with his 
family. An hour later the King was starting for 
the seat of war, followed by the Dukes of Piedmont 
and Aosta, and by the flower of that illustrious 
Piedmontese nobility which has given Italy in the 
course of centuries so many great soldiers and 
statesmen. Among his suite were representatives 
of the Seyssels d'Aix, the Lamarmoras, the Saluzzos, 
the Balbos, the d'Azeglios, the Cavours, and a host 
of other famous names. Immense crowds filled the 
streets and accompanied the King for some distance 
beyond the gates of the city. 

As soon as he reached his headquarters at the 
Giandola, Victor-Amadeus settled his plan of cam- 
paign, disposed his forces, and ordered the attack. 
At first the Piedmontese, led by the Due d' Aosta, 
were successful ; but General Wins, obeying secret 
orders from Vienna, wasted so much time in sup- 
porting the Prince with imperial troops that the 
opportunity was lost, and the French were given 
time to rally their forces. 

The old King of Sardinia supported with difficulty 
the fatigues of the campaign, rendered still more 
trying by the intense cold of those mountainous 
regions; and on the 14th of November, 1793, after 
two months of an exhausting and discouraging 


struggle, Victor-Amadeus was obliged to return to 

Meanwhile the Due de Chablais, pressed by the 
impetuous attack of General Massena, rallied his 
troops near the village of Tenda, endeavouring to 
defend the important fort of Saorgio, threatened by 
Massena's army, and to save Piedmont itself from 
invasion. But the Sardinian army, weakly supported 
by the Austrian troops, could not long resist the 
concentrated efforts of the French columns, helped 
by the sympathy they found in the population. 
The fort of Saorgio fell, the Col de Tenda was 
taken, the valley of Aosta, and even Pignerol, were 
threatened. The inhabitants of Turin, on seeing 
the Republican forces so near, became panic- 
stricken ; the demagogues, who hitherto propagated 
their views secretly among the population, took 
courage and openly denounced the Government ; 
a conspiracy was organized to murder all the 
members of the Royal Family, but, fortunately, it 
was discovered in time. 

To all this were soon added the horrors of a 
famine, which affected not only Turin, but the 
whole of Piedmont. The King gave his plate to 
be coined into money ; he sold almost everything 
he possessed to buy food for the people. But the 


situation was such that even those sacrifices were 
unavailing. Austria began to fear that she had 
played her game too well, and might have reason to 
regret having allowed the French to come so near. 
She replaced General Wins by General Wallis, who 
arrived in haste with 12,000 men. But that also 
was unavailing. 

The death of Robespierre modified for a moment 
this situation, because of the great change it effected 
in the progress of the Revolution in France, and 
the year 1795 seemed to bring a decided improve- 
ment in the affairs of the Sardinian kingdom. But 
the campaign, renewed with some success, was 
destined to end disastrously. The terrible defeat 
at Loano (November 28) ruined all the hopes of 
Piedmont, and made Austria realize that the danger 
had reached her also. 

In Turin, the Government of Victor- xAmadeus, 
stunned by the blow, and openly condemned by 
public opinion, was divided in its counsels. One 
party advised an alliance with France, in order to 
save Italy ; the other supported the alliance with 
Austria, even in presence of the situation created 
by the Battle of Loano. The people loudly 
clamoured against Austria, attributing the defeat to 
her treachery. The old King was in an agony of 



perplexity, but his repugnance to all that the French 
Revolution represented in his eyes would not permit 
him to consider such an alternative. 

While he endeavoured to reconstitute his forces, 
the Directoire in Paris was planning a forward 
movement in Italy ; it formed a fresh army, and 
appointed the young General Bonaparte as its 
Commander-in-Chief. The future Emperor was as 
yet hardly known, except to those who had seen 
him at work as a young artillery ofificer. Neither 
Austria nor Piedmont could realize the fatal signifi- 
cance of his arrival at the seat of war.* But in a 
very short time Bonaparte's genius had revealed 
itself by a succession of victories, culminating in 
the capitulation of Mondovi. Soon after, the 
French were camping within ten leagues of Turin, 
and Victor-Amadeus was compelled to ask Bona- 
parte for a suspension of hostilities. 

The result of the negotiations which followed was 
a disastrous treaty, by which the King of Sardinia 

* '* L'offensive est d^termin^e pour I'ltalie ; le commandant en 
chef de cette partie n'est pas encore connu. On a parl^ de Beur- 
nonville, puis d'un Corse terroriste nomm^ Bonaparte, le bras 
droit de Barras et commandant de la force arm^e dans Paris et 
les environs . . . un g^n^ral qui n'a pas trente ans et nulle 
experience de la guerre." — Lettres de Mallet du Pan h. la Cour 
de Vienne, 1796. 


gave up in perpetuity, in favour of the French Re- 
public, the duchy of Savoy, Nice, Tenda, and Breil; 
consented to demolish the fortresses of Coni, Ceva, 
Tortone, Exilles, I'Assiette, Suza, and La Brunette, 
and promised never to raise any new fortresses on 
the Alpine frontier ; he was also compelled to drive 
out of his kingdom all the French dmigr^s, a con- 
dition which was particularly humiliating to Victor- 
Amadeus, and wounded his feelings as a man and 
as a King. 

Such a peace sent a thrill of indignation through 
the heart of the Piedmontese people, and Victor- 
Amadeus himself, crushed by despair, fell into a 
state of health which caused the deepest anxiety 
to all the members of the Royal Family. In public 
he still showed himself calm and full of dignity ; but 
in private his energy left him, and was replaced by 
a lethargy out of which it was found increasingly 
difficult to rouse him. His son, the Prince of 
Piedmont, alarmed in his delicate conscience by a 
treaty with France which seemed to him, not only a 
political disaster, but a moral defection, was sad, 
cold, and silent. 

Marie-Clotilde never left her penitential garments, 
and spent all her time during the day, and even 
during the night, in ardent prayers on behalf of the 


poor dismembered country of her adoption. When 
the old King, finally vanquished by his sorrow, 
came to his last moments, she was assiduously at 
his bedside, nursing him and consoling all. 

At five o'clock in the morning, on the 15th of 
October, 1796, Victor-Amadeus passed away quietly, 
with a peaceful expression, almost a smile, upon his 
face, which struck all present. He died at the 
age of seventy-one, and had reigned twenty-four 

There were in him all the virtues of an honest 
man, but he lacked the qualities required of a King 
at such a crisis. He was brave, like all the Princes 
of his family, but he was not in any real sense 
a military leader ; he had sound principles of states- 
manship, but he was not able to adapt them to a 
new situation created by the invasion of new ideas. 
He died crushed by sorrow and the sense of hope- 
less defeat. Must we believe that the peaceful 
smile which lighted up his countenance at the end 
was caused by a consoling vision of the astonishing 
destinies of his House ? " Chi lo sA !" 

Meanwhile, Charles-Emmanuel IV. ascended the 
throne under circumstances so critical that even 
a much abler man than he was might well have 
despaired of the situation. With an exhausted 


treasury, with an army weakened and disorganized, 
with a kingdom practically under the heel of a 
powerful and unscrupulous conqueror, what could 
he do ? To all his difficulties was added the 
ferment of discontent which the policy of the 
French Republic industriously fostered among his 
subjects. He had to meet this by a vigorous 
repression which only increased the ill-feeling of 
a portion of the population against his Government. 
His life and that of the Queen Marie-Clotilde were 
several times placed in imminent danger by criminal 
conspiracies and attempts at assassination, which 
they met, it must be recognized, with tactful pre- 
cautions and much courage. 

Marie-Clotilde, on the death of her father-in-law, 
showed herself true to the principles which governed 
her life. Rising from her prayers, she calmly left 
her oratory, to which she had at once retired when 
obliged to leave the death-chamber, and on the way 
to her apartments she met her faithful attendant, 
Madame Badia ; the good lady fell upon her knees, 
and said : " Let me be the first to do homage to 
your Majesty." 

But the new Queen raised her at once, and said to 
her: " In changing my position I shall not change 
my sentiments ; as a Christian I am your sister ; 


something of the fatal destiny of her own race. 
Yet her strong faith dominated her sorrow, and she 
could write in the following strain to Father Felix 
Vecchi : " You are right in calling this kingship a 
Calvary, for in fact it is that. May we at least make 
good use of it, so that, having had the honour and 
glory to carry the Cross with our good Jesus, and 
following His steps, we may one day be admitted to 
contemplate the eternal blessedness of Paradise. . . . 
This is the sole object and desire of my dear com- 
panion and of myself." 

It was not, however, Marie-Clotilde's way to 
neglect her duties by taking refuge in her oratory 
while her help was needed elsewhere. She knew 
the character of her husband, his state of health, his 
indecision in presence of difficulties. It was her 
mission to hide from the public the weakness of his 
irritable temperament, the painful nervous depression 
which frequently came over him ; and it often 
required all her tact and patience and her 
ineffable sweetness to restrain him and prevent 
strangers from realizing his condition. 

Charles-Emmanuel was conscious of his state, and 
dreaded to deal directly with affairs ; he liked them 
to be first considered and reported to him by Marie- 
Clotilde. She had to wait for a favourable moment 


before mentioning matters likely to trouble and 
excite him. Hence delays in the despatch of State 
business, which caused many complaints and criti- 
cisms on the part of diplomatists in Turin. 

Although the Queen always maintained the 
greatest reserve in dealing with public affairs, and 
never took an ostensible part in the government of 
the kingdom, yet she undoubtedly exercised a very 
great influence in the State. She quietly expressed 
her opinion when it was asked, but her manner 
never had an appearance of authority, and she 
generally declined to speak until she had consulted 
the most experienced men about her. Of course, 
there were many people always ready to make her 
responsible for any mistakes or supposed mistakes 
committed by the King's Ministers. She was 
accused of mixing herself up too much with matters 
of government. Those critics did not know from 
how many real mistakes she had safeguarded the 
country by restraining the impulsive humour of the 
King, or by enabling him to rouse himself out of 
his apathy and indecision. 

It was also insinuated in public circles that the 
King and Queen were too much occupied with their 
devotions, and wasted in them a time which might 
have been better employed in the service of the 


State. Such criticisms were probably inevitable, 
given the world as it is. Since the day when Judas 
complained that the money represented by the 
alabaster vase of precious ointment, which a certain 
woman broke at the feet of Jesus, might have been 
better employed, the world has never lacked people 
who have been inclined to take a similar view of all 
religious devotion. 

That Marie-Clotilde carried her piety to a point 
of austerity and strictness, which may have proved 
too great a strain upon her health, is only too 
probable, judging from ordinary standards of human 
endurance. But it is quite certain that she never 
neglected external duties under pretext of being 
engaged in her devotions. That was the very 
point on which she liked to mortify herself, and 
we have seen that " to leave God for God " was her 
particular idea of practical perfection. 

As to the King, whether his devotions or his 
nervous fits wasted most of his time, it is not easy 
to say ; but there is reason to fear that the necessary 
care of his health consumed more of his time even 
than his devotions. 

Asa matter of fact, Charles- Emmanuel and Marie- 
Clotilde had a task before them which was, humanly 
speaking, an impossible one. They did their best 


most conscientiously, but not always wisely, because, 
to be wise, the first condition is to know what one is 
doing, and most of the time, since their accession to 
the throne, they could only feel their way, without 
any clear idea of the political situation. The agents 
of the French Government treated them out- 
rageously, and raised all sorts of obstacles and 
troubles around them. In December, 1796, Bona- 
parte wrote to the Directoire : "I believe that our 
policy towards the King of Sardinia must consist in 
keeping up in his State a ferment of discontent 
among the populations, and above all in making 
sure of the destruction of fortresses on the side of 
the Alps." What could a poor King do, with an 
exhausted treasury, without sufficient troops and 
without faithful allies, against an enemy animated 
by that spirit ? 

Even when Charles- Emmanuel, by a supreme 
effort, succeeded in repelling the attacks of revolu- 
tionary bands secretly supported by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the French forces in Liguria, 
this was turned into a grievance by the Directoire, 
and the King was compelled to give up to the 
French the very citadel of Turin. Truly he was 
wearing a crown of thorns. 

One of the thorns was, in particular, the French 


Ambassador at Turin, that same Ginguen^ with 
whom we have already met at the time of his first 
interview with Marie-Clotilde. 

Ginguen^ was not by any means one of the 
worst types produced by the French Revolution (see 
Appendix, p. 245). He had some literary tastes and 
a certain moderation of character, but he considered it 
necessary to affect a high revolutionary tone, in keep- 
ing with the attitude of the Government of which he 
was the representative. The result was that his 
relations with the Court of Turin became simply 
intolerable. On his arrival he had made a speech in 
the presence of Charles-Emmanuel, full of the most 
ridiculous impertinence. The King showed great 
tact on that painful occasion. He merely spoke of his 
obligations to the French nation, gracefully alluding 
to the fact that he owed to her his beloved wife. 

Mollified by this speech, Ginguen6 said: "Sire, 
the sister of Louis XVI. has left in France a 
memory of her goodness and virtue which will 
never be effaced." 

In the same conciliatory tone, Charles- Emmanuel 
went on to ask the French Ambassador about his 
health, his journey from Paris, his family. He said : 
" Have you any children ?" " I have not that happi- 
ness," answered Ginguen^. *' Neither have I any," 


To face />. 96. 


continued the King, with a sigh; "but I am con- 
soled by the virtues of my wife." 

Charles-Emmanuel may have thought that he had 
tamed the terrible Ambassador, but, if so, he was 
deceived. The manners of the sans-culotte returned, 
and so violently, that everybody in Turin believed 
that he had voted for the death of Louis XVI. 
Yet we know from his writings that Ginguen^ has 
declared the execution of Louis XVI. to have been 
a political mistake, although he thought it just. 

In spite of the way he had spoken of Marie- 
Clotilde, he again thought it necessary to affect in 
her presence a tone in keeping with his costume. 
He would come to her receptions in heavy boots, 
with a broad tricolour scarf and a great sword noisily 
trailing on the ground, accompanied by his wife 
dressed in a ddshabilld gown such as might have 
been worn by a low-class woman. Marie-Clotilde, 
with her usual tact, took no notice of these im- 
proprieties ; but the feeling at Court and in Turin 
was such that Ginguen^, who was not particularly 
brave, became persuaded that his precious life was 
in peril. He believed that before long Turin 
would see a repetition of the Sicilian Vespers, and 
he continually informed his Government of the 
danger of his position. 



At last they recalled him, and the following note 
was written against his name at the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs: "Ambassador with a fantastic 
imagination ; incapable of giving a moment's peace 
to the Government to which he was accredited." 
This note, which so exactly describes him, gives 
some idea of the situation in which Charles- 
Emmanuel and Marie-Clotilde found themselves at 
that period. But they soon had to deal with another 
difficult question. The emptiness of the Treasury 
obliged the Sardinian Government to decide, as a 
last resource, on the confiscation and sale of ecclesi- 
astical property in the kingdom. 

The Church possessed immense wealth, and had 
not hitherto borne to any extent the burden imposed 
upon the rest of the country by the financial situa- 
tion. It was therefore inevitable that the question 
of dealing with Church property should be raised^ 
The ecclesiastical authorities clearly saw that the 
ruin of the State would ultimately bring about the 
ruin of religion in Piedmont, and, fully admitting the 
urgency of the case, they obtained from Pope 
Pius VI. a brief authorizing the sale of Church 

This ought to have satisfied the tender con- 
sciences of the King and Queen ; but the idea of 


taking money given by benefactors in the past for 
the service of God seemed to them something like 
sacrilege, and they could not bring themselves to 
assume the responsibility for such a step. To do 
practically in Piedmont what the Revolution had 
done in France was not to be thought of, they felt, 
until every other means of raising money had been 

Marie-Clotilde, in her perplexity, consulted, as 
was her usual practice, the most prudent and 
enlightened members of the clergy, and particularly 
Cardinal Gerdil, who happened then to be staying 
in Turin. After some hesitation and prolonged 
inquiries, the Cardinal advised the formation of 
a special committee for the full consideration of that 
affair. Cardinal Gerdil accepted the presidency of 
the committee, on which sat the Archbishop of 
Turin and the Bishops of Novara, Acqui, Biella, 
and Suza. 

Conferences were held between the committee 
and the Minister of Finance, and finally the com- 
mittee made their report, stating that, in view of 
the circumstances of the case, which had led to 
the Pope being asked for a brief authorizing the 
sale of Church property, the Government could act 
with a safe conscience upon the faculty thus granted. 


Moreover, to satisfy still further the King and 
Queen, certain dispositions were suggested which 
would diminish the loss likely to affect the possessors 
of Church property. Charles-Emmanuel and Marie- 
Clotilde, although somewhat encouraged by this 
decision of the committee, resolved to apply them- 
selves directly to the Sovereign Pontiff before 
acting upon it. The answer came from Rome 
entirely approving the decision. They had there- 
fore to yield to the necessity, but with the sense 
that they had done all they could to safeguard their 
responsibility, and had brought the Church herself 
to advise the step which they were compelled to 
take. We may perhaps think that the good Queen 
and her husband were rather too scrupulous in this 
affair. Yet, given the religious motives which 
influenced them, it seems difficult not to honour 
them for the delicacy of conscience which they 
showed in dealing with such a question. 

Meanwhile, the relations between the Sardinian 
Government and the French military authorities 
installed in the citadel of Turin grew every day 
more strained. General Collin, who filled the 
position of Governor of the citadel, instead of 
restraining the insolence of his officers and men, 
rather took pleasure in urging them on to further 


excesses. The people of Turin were indignant, for 
they felt the insults levelled against their Sovereign 
as being also meant for themselves. The Pied- 
montese Minister Priocca wrote to the French 
Ambassador, warning him that, if those provocations 
continued, he could not be answerable for the 
consequences. " I accept all responsibility," said 
Ginguen^, in his grand manner. 

Soon after the French officers organized a mas- 
querade, in which the Court, the magistracy, the 
Church, and the most respected institutions, were 
turned into ridicule. They rode through the streets 
of Turin in open carriages, preceded by a body of 
cavalry, the soldiers forcing their way through the 
crowd by striking them with the flat of their swords. 
The Piedmontese are generally patient and good- 
natured, but they are quick to resent an insult ; this 
fresh provocation exasperated them beyond measure, 
and very soon there was fighting and bloodshed 
in the streets. The French General Menard, with 
laudable energy, rushed forward and compelled his 
men to go back to the citadel, while the Marquis 
de St. Andr^, the Piedmontese Governor of the 
town, endeavoured to pacify the population. 

It was impossible for the French Governmen 
to approve of such doings. General Collin was 



replaced by General Menard, and Ginguen6 was 
recalled in the way already described. But his 
successor, d'Eymard, proved as incapable as him- 
self, and did nothing to place the relations between 
the Piedmontese and the French upon a more 
satisfactory footing. General Joubert, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the army of occupation, made 
no secret of his opinion that the shadow of 
authority still left to the King ought to be done 
away with. He replaced the reasonable General 
M6nard by General Grouchy, who shared his own 
views ; and when the Russian General Souvarow 
began to cause serious apprehension to the French 
by his rapid movements and his temporary success, 
General Joubert, to make it impossible for Charles- 
Emmanuel to co-operate with the enemies of the 
Republic, sent troops during the night of the 6th of 
December, 1798, to seize Novara, Vercelli, Suza, 
Coni, Alessandria, and Chiva, thus depriving the 
King of his last resources. 

Meanwhile, Charles-Emmanuel was openly accused 
of carrying on secret negotiations with the enemy, 
and of being unfaithful to his engagements towards 
France. No accusation was ever less founded, for 
the poor King realized his utter powerlessness, and 
knew only too well that his interest lay in avoiding 


any action calculated to increase the ill-will of the 
French Government. But all his precautions in this 
respect were in vain. His fate was decided, and 
nothing could avert it. 

Three days after the coup de main organized by 
Joubert, the French Ambassador d'Eymard, with 
the Generals Grouchy and Clausel, presented him- 
self at the palace, and required Charles-Emmanuel 
to sign the act by which he renounced his throne. 
By that document he gave up to the French 
Republic all the territories still remaining to him 
in Italy, the island of Sardinia alone being left to 
him as a last place of refuge. 

During this terrible ordeal Charles-Emmanuel 
displayed much dignity, in spite of the emotion 
which shook his whole being, and soon reduced him 
to a state of utter physical and mental prostration ; 
but before he had had time to recover, the order 
came for him and his family to leave Turin without 
a moment's delay. This brutal proceeding on the 
part of the French authorities was not, however, as 
cruel as it seemed to be. In fact, it was intended 
as a means of avoiding something worse. 

The original intention of some of the revolutionary 
leaders in Paris had been to have the King and his 
family brought over to France as prisoners, to be 


exhibited there as a glorious triumph for the 
Republican arms. Count Balbo, the Sardinian 
Ambassador, anxious to spare his Sovereign this 
last outrage, went to see Talleyrand, who was then 
Minister of Foreign Affairs. He found him much 
opposed to the idea of bringing the King to Paris. 
Talleyrand had an instinctive repugnance to measures 
which were at once odious and useless. He there- 
fore willingly arranged with Count Balbo that orders 
should be sent for the immediate departure of the 
King and the Royal Family from Turin, so as to 
defeat the plan proposed by some other members 
of the Government. 

This is the generally accepted view of what took 
place. It is not, however, impossible that the 
rumour about taking the King and his family to 
Paris may have been industriously circulated by 
Talleyrand himself, in order to prevent any resist- 
ance or delay on the part of the King when the 
order reached him to leave Turin. This might 
account for the absence of any serious effort to 
bring back the King to Turin, when an order 
from Paris to detain him was received, as it is said, 
by General Joubert. It seems that Talleyrand had 
sent a secret message to the Minister Priocca, 
warning him of the intentions of the Directoire, 


and advising him to use his influence to persuade 
the King that it was his interest to start without the 
least delay. With Talleyrand, one is never sure of 
knowing the whole truth about anything in which 
he was concerned. 

Anyhow, this device (if there were such a device) 
was successful. Hardly had Charles-Emmanuel left 
his capital, when orders arrived from Paris to detain 
him until further instructions had been received. It 
would have been easy to have had him brought back 
to Turin, but the authorities had no orders for that. 
They were surprised by so sudden a change in their 
instructions ; they feared to assume responsibility 
in what might perhaps be a mistaken interpretation 
of their duty, and meanwhile the King and Queen 
continued their journey. 



Before proceeding with the narrative of the King 
and Queen's journey after their hurried departure 
from Turin, we must give a few more details of the 
tragic circumstances which followed the French 
Ambassador's intimation to Charles-Emmanuel of 
the will of his Government. 

The King was in a state of prostration following 
upon a violent convulsive fit, which raised the 
anxious fears of his family assembled around him. 
Unable as he was to give any orders or to attend 
to any preparations for his journey, the whole care 
fell upon Marie-Clotilde. She at once showed 
incredible activity and energy, arranging every- 
thing, thinking of everybody but herself, selecting 
the objects most necessary for the journey, and 
designating the few persons who were to accompany 
the Sovereigns. She was to take with her a single 

1 06 


woman. Instead of choosing among the ladies of 
the Court the one who could be most useful, she 
selected Clara Stuper, a daughter of Charles- 
Emmanuel's nurse. She was a beautiful young girl, 
but affected with deafness. Having lost her father, 
there was reason to fear that the poor girl might be 
exposed to great dangers if she remained alone, 
without protection, in a town entirely in the hands 
of foreign soldiers, and her very beauty might 
render her position more perilous. Marie-Clotilde 
therefore, without any thought for her own needs or 
comfort, decided to take Clara Stuper with her. 
She was sorry to be unable to take also her faithful 
Madame Badia ; she told her that as soon as she 
was sufficiently settled somewhere she would send 
for her. 

Then the news came that the French authorities 
were determined to keep the Due d'Aosta a 
prisoner in Turin. His wife in her distress implored 
Marie-Clotilde to save him. She went to General 
Clausel and besought him on her knees to revoke 
this cruel order. The French General was so 
touched by the ineffable dignity of the Queen, 
even in such an act of humiliation, that he consented 
to let the Due d'Aosta go free. Charles-Emmanuel, 
in return for this act of clemency, presented General 


Clause! with the famous picture of *' The Dropsical 
Woman," by Gerard Dow, which is now one of the 
treasures of the Louvre in Paris. 

But some other victim was required, and the 
faithful Minister Priocca was ordered to remain in 
the citadel. He endured there a long and painful 
captivity; and when he was at last liberated, he nobly 
declined the proposals made to him by Napoleon, 
and retired to Pisa, where he died in great 

Such characters raise our estimate of mankind, but 
the members of the Court and all the servants in the 
palace did not give such an example of fidelity. 
Some maintained a respectful silence ; others mani- 
fested complete indifference. Among the ungrateful 
ones were seen some who had received from the 
King and Queen the most marked kindness in 
former years. Many openly complained that they 
were losing their position, as if they were doing so 
by the fault of the Royal Family ; while, among the 
number of those chosen to follow the Sovereigns in 
their exile, not a few found plausible pretexts for 
avoiding that duty. As Charles-Emmanuel, accom- 
panied by the Queen and all the Princes, was going 
for the last time to perform his devotions in the 
Chapel Royal, passing along the galleries of the 


palace, he noticed with sorrow that a number of the 
servants had already replaced the blue cockade of 
Savoy by the tricolour cockade of the French 
Republic. The King silently passed on, oppressed 
by the sight of such indecent haste. Every dis- 
possessed ruler must be prepared for this worship 
of the rising sun. 

While preparations were being made for the 
journey, the attention of the King and Queen 
was drawn to the fact that it would be quite 
easy to take away the Crown jewels ; the French 
Commissioners appeared to have forgotten them. 
But Marie-Clotilde feared that the country might 
suffer when the disappearance of the jewels came to 
be discovered, and, with her usual indifference to 
such things, she ordered that those articles of value 
were alone to be taken away which were strictly 
personal property. Even then many objects were 
left behind which she would have wished to retain 
for the comfort of the King ; but having to attend 
to so many things, she could not always see how far 
her orders had been carried out. 

The Minister of Finance brought to her a con- 
siderable sum of money which remained in his 
hands. She at first refused it, and only consented 
to let that money be taken when her spiritual 


adviser assured her that she could do so with a 
safe conscience. 

At last the hour came which had been fixed for 
the departure. It was about ten o'clock ; the night 
was dark and very cold. The royal exiles slowly 
came downstairs accompanied by the household, 
and walked across the gardens, already white with 
snow, to their carriage. They found waiting there an 
escort of thirty Piedmontese soldiers and thirty French 
dragoons, under the command of a French Commis- 
sioner who was to accompany them to the frontier. 

In the streets, large crowds of people, many 
carrying torches, were waiting to get a last glimpse 
of their unfortunate Sovereign. The conduct of the 
French had caused a strong reaction in the feelings 
of the population, and the Piedmontese felt that 
with their King their own national independence 
was departing. They surrounded his carriage and 
forced it to stop. Charles-Emmanuel, surprised by 
this incident, looked out of the window, and at the 
sight of his pale, haggard face, a loud cry followed 
by a prolonged acclamation greeted him. It was 
the last farewell of his people. With deep emotion 
he bowed his head and wept. " Madam," he said 
to Marie-Clotilde, " the remembrance of this hour 
will soften the bitterness of my exile." 


The journey was resumed. It was exceedingly 
trying. The roads were in a very bad state ; heavy 
snow was falling, and the darkness was such that 
several times the escort lost the way. The cold 
was intense, and the Queen, already exhausted by 
the hurried preparations for their departure, felt 
that her strength was failing, in spite of her courageous 
efforts to appear calm and well, for the sake of the 

On the following morning they arrived at Cres- 
centino. The Comte de Gregori gave them the 
hospitality of his house, but it was hardly large 
enough for so many people. The Queen arranged 
to give a bed in her own room to Mademoiselle 
Stuper, the young deaf girl who accompanied her ; 
but no bedstead could be found, and in the end she 
took a mattress out of her own bed for the girl to 
sleep upon. 

The next stage was Casale. But before reaching 
that place they had to cross the River P6. It then 
turned out that the permission for them to cross the 
river had not been received from Turin. They had 
to remain shivering on the bank for more than an 
hour, while the difficulty was being dealt with by 
the French Commissioner and a boat was procured. 

During this portion of the journey the Royal 


Family was entirely at the mercy of that official. 
He determined the itinerary, the hours of departure, 
the order of the march, without any regard for their 
wishes or their convenience. He frequently changed 
his mind, saying that he had received new instruc- 
tions or was obliged to wait for them. It may be 
that it was so. But, anyhow, the constant un- 
certainty in which the royal exiles were kept must 
have been very trying for them. It irritated the 
King and aggravated his nervous condition ; yet no 
good could have come from an open conflict with 
the French Commissioner, and therefore Marie- 
Clotilde had to soothe the poor King's temper, and 
to communicate to him some of her own ineffable 
patience and resignation. It was no easy task. 

At Casale, they arrived just at the time when a 
tree of liberty was being planted on one of the squares 
of the town. An immense crowd watched this 
characteristic Republican ceremony. Intense excite- 
ment was caused by the sight of the royal carriages 
at such a moment, and they were greeted with loud 
insults, many of the people manifesting their 
enthusiasm for the principles of liberty, equality, 
and fraternity, by spitting at the carriages as they 
passed. At last they reached a house in safety, but 
it was thought better to proceed without much 


delay, although snow was falling very heavily, 
rendering the roads almost impassable. 

In the evening they arrived at Alessandria. 
There the presence of a body of French troops, 
and the consequent excitement of the population, 
made matters even worse than at Casale. They 
found lodgings in a house whose owners were well 
disposed towards the Royal Family, but nothing 
was ready for their reception The rooms were so 
cold that water froze in them ; there were no beds, 
and in the street crowds were passing and repass- 
ing, uttering threatening cries or singing revolu- 
tionary songs. 

Suddenly the report of a gun was heard in one 
of the rooms, causing great fright among the 
ladies, who, not unreasonably, thought that they 
were being attacked by the populace. The occur- 
rence, however, was purely accidental. 

The French Commissioner soon ordered the 
journey to be resumed, and on the 13th of December 
they reached Voghera, after a most fatiguing drive 
on roads made every day more difficult by the 
increasing snowfall. There the curiosity of the 
inhabitants proved almost as troublesome as the 
political enthusiasm of the people of Alessandria. 
The house in which the King and Queen were to 



lodge became so filled with men and women that it 
was a long time before they were able to enter their 
rooms and take some rest. Marie- Clotilde threw 
herself on her bed exhausted and shivering with cold. 
But it was soon discovered that the shivering was 
due to an intense fever, accompanied by an eruption 
on the skin, the nature of which was not under- 
stood. She also had a violent cough. Yet all 
the time crowds rushed into the room in order 
to get a sight of her, so that she was unable 
to obtain even a moment of rest. In spite of 
her dangerous condition, the order came to start 
again. She tried to obey, but her strength was 
exhausted, and she fell fainting on the bed. Two 
days passed, days of agony in a miserable room 
chilled by icy draughts. The curtains of the bed 
were so torp that it was useless to try and draw 

At last, on the i6th, in the morning, feeling a 
little better, the courageous woman declared herself 
ready to start again, and went to a chapel near by 
to make her devotions. The chapel was intensely 
cold ; her cutaneous eruption was thereby driven 
inwards, and from that day the cough never com- 
pletely left her. The hardships of the journey which 
followed finally broke up her constitution, and she 


then contracted the illness which was to end her 
life in less than four years. 

When they arrived at Stradella, they were given a 
room opening upon the staircase, and whose windows 
were, most of them, without a pane of glass. The 
poor Queen could not stand, and was in a fainting 
condition, her teeth chattering violently. The 
King looked everywhere for a cup of hot coffee to 
try and comfort her a little, but even that could not 
be found. At last, an unknown person who had 
heard that the Queen, the sister of Louis XVI., 
was in need of a warm drink, brought her a cup of 
chocolate, respectfully begging her to accept it. 
She took the cup, lifting her head and thanking the 
unknown benefactor with a grateful smile. The 
King took this Good Samaritan's hand and shook 
it warmly ; the man knelt down, then rose and 
disappeared. Nobody was able to find out who 
he was. 

Again, on the following day, this veritable Way of 
the Cross had to be resumed. Still the snow con- 
tinued to fall, driven by a bitter wind, which obliged 
the Queen to wrap part of her garments around her 
head, so strong and cold was the draught inside the 

Near Piacenza the august travellers stopped at 


the Monastery of St. Lazarus, where they were 
received with great kindness, and given comforts 
which they had not met with since the day of 
their departure from Turin. Marie-Clotilde had to 
remain in bed until the evening, when she rose for 
a short time to attend a service in the monastery 

At last, on the 19th of December, the Royal 
Family arrived at Parma, and took up their quarters 
in the Benedictine Monastery of St. John. They 
remained there three weeks, wishing to celebrate 
in that religious retreat the festival of Christmas ; 
besides, the condition of Marie-Clotilde was such 
that the physicians insisted on the absolute necessity 
of complete rest. But, with a man like the King, 
always suffering more or less from one of those 
obscure states which we call " nervous," since our 
ignorance must always have at least the satisfaction 
of a name, the Queen's rest was seldom more than 
relative rest. She would not leave the King alone, 
and there were so few people who could take her 
place near him. 

Fortunitely for her, about a week after their 
arrival at Parma, the King's Grand Equerry, 
Raymond de St.-Martin d'Agli^, generally called 
the Bailli of St. Germain, accompanied by Chevalier 


de la Marmora, rejoined the royal party. The 
Bailli, a man of the highest character, in whose 
family existed a traditional devotion to the House 
of Savoy, had been attached to the person of the 
King when he was only seven years old. The sight 
of his old intimate friend was a great joy and con- 
solation for Charles-Emmanuel, and Marie-Clotilde 
could safely leave him with the Bailli. She had 
thus a little time to herself, which she employed, as 
far as her health would permit, in visiting churches 
— and particularly religious houses — in order to 
have interviews with some of the nuns who had a 
deserved reputation for eminent sanctity. 

This was one of her peculiarities. Devout 
Catholics are recommended to read the lives of the 
Saints. This, of course, she always did, but she 
much preferred to have spiritual conversations with 
living saints. She wanted to get at the secret of 
their sanctity, to see it freed from those artificial em- 
bellishments or unreliable traditions too often found 
even in the most honestly written lives of saints. 
Diogenes went about with his lantern seeking 
men;* Marie-Clotilde went about with her tender 
faithful, devoted heart, seeking saints, seeking com- 

* Avx^ov {leO' rjfxepav axfas TrepLrjei Aeywv '^ avdpwTrov ^-qrQ." — 
DiOG. Laert., Vi. 2. 



munion with souls like her own. It was her great 
joy and comfort, and whether at Parma, at Florence, 
at Rome, or Naples, we shall always find her 
similarly occupied. 

But she was not long permitted to indulge in 
this innocent satisfaction at Parma. On the evening 
before Christmas the French Commissioner men- 
tioned to the Duchesse d'Aosta (who, with her 
husband, had rejoined the King and Queen at 
Parma) that judgment was going to be pronounced 
against Charles- Emmanuel in Paris. This caused 
great emotion and fear in the family. Was the 
King going to be called before the same judges 
who had condemned Louis XVI. ? Had the 
Commissioner merely invented this story, or had 
he really received some information from France ? 
It seems probable that the matter was not without 
some foundation, for the French Government was 
then considering what should be ultimately done 
with the King. But to make such an announce- 
ment on the very eve of Christmas and in such 
terms was truly cruel on the part of the Com- 

A few days later another order came from him. 
The presence of the Bailli of St. Germain was 
disagreeable to the representative of the French 


Republic ; he did not wish to have his actions 
watched by that able and faithful servant of the 
King. He therefore intimated to him that he 
was a prisoner of war, liable to deportation, 
and he assigned to him a place of residence, with 
the order to repair to that place forthwith. The 
same order was given at the same time to several 
other members of the little Court, including Count 

This blow affected the King's health very 
seriously, and for several days Marie- Clotilde had 
a most anxious time in nursing the royal patient 
in a violent attack of his usual convulsions. The 
following quotation from Charles-Emmanuel's own 
narrative will give some idea of the state into which 
he fell when those convulsive fits came upon him. 
He says : " Only a few months before the Queen's 
death I learnt this circumstance, to my great con- 
fusion. Having noticed one day that she had not 
the proper use of one of her fingers, I asked her 
what had happened to her. She then confessed 
quite simply that on one occasion, five or six years 
before, when I was seized with violent convulsions, 
I had got hold of her finger, and, without realizing 
what I was doing, I had dislocated it." 

Six months later, when the French lost temporarily 


possession of the North of Italy, the Bailli of St. 
Germain was able to return to the King, but at the 
time it looked as if their separation was to be a 
permanent one. Marie-Clotilde, in spite of what 
she felt and suffered, was invariably polite, and even 
obliging, to the French official. She seems to have 
believed that his severities were really caused by 
orders from his Government ; in a few cases she 
obtained from him a certain mitigation of the harsh 
orders he had given. Her tact and gentleness and 
patience, her perfect manners, full of dignity without 
the least pride, made an impression upon him, for he 
was once heard to say, as he left the Queen after an 
interview : "It is clear that those people are truly 
Christian philosophers!" Marie-Clotilde was not 
a philosopher, but she certainly was a Christian in 
the best sense, for to her ardent faith, to her un- 
wavering hope, was ever added the charity which is 
" the greatest of these." 



On the nth of January, 1799, ^^^ royal exiles left 
Parma on their way to Florence. They reached 
Modena in the evening, and alighted on the market- 
place. After some time they were informed that 
there were no available lodgings in the town. They 
could do nothing for themselves, and remained there 
standing in the cold evening air, surrounded by 
people whom curiosity had attracted to the spot, 
until at last they were taken to an inn ; then they 
were led to the Bishop's residence. He was most 
kind and polite, but he had no room for them in the 
episcopal palace, already filled with people (probably 
officers billeted on him) whom he could not turn out. 
It was getting very late when the Marquis Camposi 
finally offered his own house. The accommodation 
was insufficient ; the temperature in the rooms was 
several degrees below freezing-point; the whole 



house was full of smoke, probably due to an un- 
successful attempt to heat the place a little. They 
could get no sleep. It was almost a comfort to start 
again in the morning for Bologna, where they re- 
mained two days under somewhat better conditions. 

Leaving Bologna on the 15th, they met with 
terrible snowstorms and very bad roads, on which 
progress was so slow that they only reached Lojano 
at an advanced hour of the night. They sought 
refuge in a Franciscan monastery. The monks did 
all they could for them, but the only rooms they 
could offer had been occupied until the morning of 
that day by soldiers, who had left them in a state 
which we must not attempt to describe. 

Before daylight our travellers were already on the 
road again, but they had not gone many miles, when 
their adventures took a more serious turn. First, 
their carriage upset in the snow, and they succeeded, 
with no small difficulty, in getting out of it. Rather 
than wait until the carriage was raised again, they 
elected to walk. After some time they came to a 
small cottage by the way, and asked the peasant 
who lived there for permission to rest a little. He 
assented, and gave them some water to drink. The 
conveyance meanwhile arrived, and they got into it ; 
but the road was now much worse, and as they 


drove along a high and precipitous bank, one of 
the wheels just went over the edge, and the carriage 
remained, as it were, hanging over the precipice, 
held on to the road, apparently, by the snow in 
which the other wheels were imbedded. It took 
some time before they were rescued from their 
perilous position. 

Recalling this incident, Charles-Emmanuel has 
said: "At the sight of the precipice my wife did 
not show the slightest emotion or fear, and it was 
only when the danger was over that she admitted 
she had been aware of it." 

At last, on the 17th of January, they arrived at 
Florence, where the Grand- Duke Ferdinand III., 
deeply touched by their misfortunes, received them 
with much kindness. He placed at their disposal 
Poggio Imperiale, the beautiful country-house of the 
Medicis, and for the first time since they left Turin 
they were able to rest in comfort and with a certain 
sense of freedom and security. Marie- Clotilde's 
health much improved in a short time under these 
better conditions, and she at once desired to see all 
the places and things of religious interest in Florence. 

Not far from Poggio Imperiale, in the Carthusian 
monastery of Val d' Ema, Pope Pius VI., another 
exile, was then residing, sent adrift by the storm 


of Revolution. He was eighty-two years old and 
very feeble, but he heard with pleasure that the 
King and Queen of Sardinia had come to visit him. 
Leaning upon two prelates of his household, he rose 
to meet them at the door of his room. 

" Holy Father," said Marie-Clotilde, " I find in 
your presence a consolation for all my misfortunes." 

" We are beginning somewhat to resemble our 
Divine Model," answered the aged Pontiff, with a 
smile ; and he added, after a remark made by 
Charles - Emmanuel about their present position : 
" Let us raise our eyes towards heaven. There 
we may look for crowns which men will not be able 
to take from us." Then, inviting them both to sit 
down, he conversed with them for about a quarter 
of an hour. Marie-Clotilde often spoke of this 
interview, which meant so much to her, with such 
feeling that people, we are told, were affected to 
tears while listening to her. 

On the following day the King and Queen visited 
the church where the body of St. Mary- Magdalen 
of Pazzi is preserved.* Marie-Clotilde was not 

* St. Mary- Magdalen of Pazzi belonged to one of the most 
illustrious families of Florence, allied to the Medicis. Her 
mother was a Blondelmonti. She was born in 1566, and died on 
the 25th of May, 1607. She was canonized in 1669. 


likely to omit this pious pilgrimage to the shrine of 
the holy Carmelite nun who, on account of her 
mystical experiences, is considered second only to 
her spiritual mother, St. Teresa, Ever since the 
time, before her marriage, when she went to St. 
Denis to see Madame Louise, Marie-Clotilde had 
conceived a special affection for the Carmelite 
Order. She showed it by the solicitude and zeal 
with which she received in Turin some of the 
Carmelite Sisters of St. Denis, and helped them 
to find a temporary home when they arrived from 
France, in spite of the political situation which 
made the reception of French ^migrds in Piedmont 
so difficult. 

Before leaving the church, Marie-Clotilde desired, 
as a great favour, to be allowed to place a precious 
jewel on the body of St. Mary- Magdalen. This 
jewel was one of those which for some years she 
had ceased to wear, when she assumed her austere 
woollen dress. 

But while the good Queen was thus finding some 
rest and consolation, new anxieties were about to 
assail her. It was becoming evident that Charles- 
Emmanuel was not really safe in Florence ; political 
events showed that at any moment his enemies 
might easily seize him, and the only prudent course 


appeared, to all about the King, to lie in seeking 
a prompt refuge in Sardinia. But poor Charles- 
Emmanuel felt so ill, and so dreaded another long 
journey, especially by sea, that it was found very 
difficult to persuade him to move away from 
Florence. Marie-Clotilde tried to make him see 
the situation as it was, but all in vain ; she, who 
never contradicted him, had at last to speak firmly, 
and to insist upon his ordering the departure without 
delay. The King, surprised by her attitude and 
awed by her energy, at last gave way, and the 
departure from Florence was fixed for the nth of 
February, 1799. 

At Leghorn, inevitable difficulties kept them on 
shore until the 24th of February, when another 
sorrow came to sadden the heart of the Queen. 
Her confessor, the Abb^ Tempia, the Countess of 
Carrii, one of her ladies to whom she was most 
attached, and several other members of their suite, 
found it impossible to accompany the Sovereigns to 
Sardinia. It seems that the French Government 
had decreed some severe laws against any Pied- 
montese attempting to enter the island of Sardinia. 
They were to be considered as Smigrds. That, at 
any rate, may have been one of the reasons which 
led those persons to remain behind. With her 

AT SEA 127 

usual resignation, Marie-Clotilde said nothing, but 
when the King arrived on the seashore, and was 
about to embark, he, too, refused to go farther, and 
it took the Queen a long time to persuade him to go 
on board. At last she got him there with the few 
people who remained with them ; then, turning 
towards Mademoiselle Stuper, her deaf maid, she 
kissed her tenderly, and said : " My dear Clara, 
you see how things go in this world ; of all the 
people we had with us, only we two remain ! but, 
at any rate, only death shall part us." And she 
added the words which she often repeated in 
difficulties: "Where God is, all is; all is wanting 
where He is not." 

The vessel which was to take the royal exiles to 
Cagliari started in spite of a high wind and a heavy 
swell, which soon made all the passengers miserably 
sea-sick. During the eight days of the voyage the 
weather never improved, and there was not anyone 
who was well enough to render the Queen the least 
service. Strangely enough, considering her state 
of health, she alone of all the party was free from 
sea-sickness ; she it was who helped the rest ; she 
would insist upon holding the basin for poor Clara 
Stuper, who was dreadfully ill ; she prayed and read 
and went on with her needlework just as usual, 


without ever wasting a moment. In the evening 
she would lead the public prayers, and made the 
sailors join in the responses. The first evening, 
however, they were interrupted by an alarming 
incident. A pirate ship bore upon them and 
suddenly opened fire, sending two shells, which 
fortunately fell short of the mark. Marie-Clotilde, 
with the singular energy which seemed always 
to come to her in emergencies, encouraged the 
men, consoled the women, assured them that all 
would be well, and succeeded in preventing a panic. 
For some unknown reason, the pirate ship did not 
pursue the attack, but disappeared in the darkness. 

On the sixth day of the voyage, Marie-Clotilde 
felt herself seized with a high fever, but she had the 
strength of mind to say nothing, lest the King's 
condition should be made still worse by anxiety on 
her account ; moreover, they were approaching the 
island, and in a few more hours they hoped to enter 
the port of Cagliari. This they did on Sunday, the 
3rd of March, to the great joy of the inhabitants of 
the whole island, who had never yet seen their 
Sovereigns. A solemn Te Deum was sung in the 
cathedral to celebrate their arrival, after which the 
King and Queen held a reception at the palace, and 
met there the Sardinian nobility. The enthusiasm 


of the people was most touching, and made Charles- 
Emmanuel and Marie-Clotilde forget for a moment 
their recent sufferings and the anxieties of their 

But when all was over, and they were left 
alone, they noticed the sad aspect of their resi- 
dence. It was a sort of fortress, surrounded by 
gloomy towers, a prison rather than a palace ; the 
vast rooms for the most part were without any 
furniture, and on the walls hung old ragged 
tapestries. This was all that remained to the Head 
of the House of Savoy, one of the noblest and 
oldest dynasties of Europe ! 

The contrast between so much past greatness and 
so much present misfortune affected Marie-Clotilde 
more painfully than any of the discomforts they had 
had to endure since their departure from Turin. She 
could not hide from Charles- Emmanuel the sadness 
which possessed her, and for a brief moment altered 
the usual serenity of her countenance. Then, 
suddenly gathering up her courage, she exclaimed : 
"O God, I seem to be dissatisfied with what Thou 
givest me, as if all that I have was not from Thee. 
Oh, yes, yes, I am happy — I am happy." In an 
instant her face shone with a strange unearthly 
brightness, and she said to the King : " See what 



a vile creature I am ; God wills this, and yet my 
will rebels against it." From that hour she never 
at any time showed the least sense of regret or annoy- 
ance during the whole time of their stay at Cagliari. 

It is almost a comfort, an encouragement, to see 
so pure and mortified a soul surprised, just for one 
instant, by a human sense of sadness under such 
circumstances. We are assured by this that her 
piety was no mere habit, and her usual resignation 
and patience no mere insensibility. She was what 
she was by the strength of a disciplined will, by the 
generous surrender of herself to the highest ideal 
she could conceive ; and this very moment of weak- 
ness, so promptly turned into an act of thanksgiving, 
must have been precious in the sight of Him who 
"knoweth our frame" and reads the hearts of His 
children. " His true servant," says St. Bernard, in 
one of his sermons, " bears his cross patiently, carries 
it willingly, embraces it ardently."* We can see 
more clearly by this incident, on her arrival at 
Cagliari, how Marie-Clotilde had learned the difficult 
lesson enshrined in those few words. 

But on the very first night which the Royal Family 
spent in the palace, Marie-Clotilde was called upon 
to show not only resignation but also fortitude ; for, 

 " Sustinet patienter ; portat libenter ; amplectitur ardenter." 


as they were preparing to retire to rest after all the 
fatigues and emotions of the day, they were disturbed 
by cries of " Fire ! fire !" uttered by servants running 
hurriedly to and fro. The old palace was indeed 
on fire, and the King, anxious for the safety of his 
wife, wished her to get out of the building and take 
refuge in the gardens. But Marie-Clotilde bravely 
remained with the Royal Family, and, making her way 
through unfamiliar corridors, at once saw what ought 
to be done, and gave orders which, after some time, 
resulted in the fire being extinguished. Then 
exhausted by this effort, and by the fever which was 
still upon her, she went to bed and fell into a deep 



The Princes of the House of Savoy only came into 
possession of the island of Sardinia in 1720, when 
King Victor-Amadeus H. received it in exchange 
for Sicily, which he was unable to retain. This 
King had never set foot on Sardinian soil, and 
Charles- Emmanuel was the first of his successors to 
become personally acquainted with the island from 
which he derived his title of King. The Sardinians 
received him, as we have seen, with much enthusiasm, 
for their island, in becoming united to the possessions 
of the House of Savoy, had gained much thereby. 

In former times, under the Genoese, under the 
Pisans, the natives had suffered from internal 
troubles and constant wars ; for one moment, under 
Eleonora of Arbore?, acting as Regent on behalf of 


no cma/iuecc 
cyoer arax/a 9i £)co c^c 9t (Jar9t:ami 

J:n/f>iQ^fiA:^J('de/^J (%//?ky /iea/ (jtm.) C?t ' Oe/CM'wrraJ >hj /^^e/C^^ 

^^^_^jrten/4 f^i' e^?ioi^i^?ff}/^ • Ot'ff ' rat/e ' €*■ i^ay/fk.) ^^/7/ij. Jya^//' ik) 





cv/arc/fjoi ) (^f!n-'i>k/e?^'''j'^ ■^'^'n^nt/i.-e/ S'ibrar'o ffix/ii.) /7eyycif\J), 

(Reproduced from the original in the possession of the author.) 

To /ace p. J 33. 


her son, Sardinia had shown what it might have 
been under better laws and better government ; but 
the death of Eleonora from the plague in 1403 left 
the island at the mercy of the Spanish Kings, after 
the union of the crowns of Spain and Aragon. It 
remained Spanish till the Treaty of Utrecht in 
1 713, when it was ceded to the House of Austria. 

The Spanish rule did not improve the national 
character ; agriculture in a country so fertile, 
once a granary of Rome, was neglected ; the 
malaria consequently increased ; poverty and the 
sense of injustice had their usual effects upon a 
people lively in their disposition, fond of music and 
poetry, remarkably hospitable and strong in their 
family attachments, but prompt to resent injuries 
and to take the law into their own hands. As in 
Corsica, the practice of vendetta, now, happily, 
becoming every day more rare, was terribly common 
a century and a half ago, and Spain had done little 
or nothing, either by religious or administrative 
means, to exercise a truly civilizing influence. 

The Sovereigns of the House of Savoy had not 
done much yet, but, at any rate, some of the worst 
abuses of Spanish rule had ceased to exist, more 
encouragement had been given to agriculture and 
industry, and the weight of tyrannical oppression had 



been lifted. The Sardinians had therefore every 
reason to hope that the actual presence of the King 
in their island would stimulate his solicitude and 
improve their prospects. A circumstance occurred 
on the arrival of the King which seemed in their 
eyes to be a Providential indication of the blessings 
his presence was going to bring. In that year the 
island had suffered, even more than usual, from a 
prolonged drought, which had parched up the 
ground and caused serious fears of a famine ; but 
just as the King landed abundant rains fell, which 
brought back fertility and hope. 

One of the first steps taken by Charles-Emmanuel 
was one which would probably have been dictated 
to him by his own feelings and by the sense of 
what was due to the outraged dignity of his House ; 
but it may be doubted whether, left to himself, he 
would have ventured upon it. Count Chalembert, 
who had followed the Royal Family to Sardinia, 
had during their stay in Florence obtained the 
King's entire confidence, and had become his 
principal Minister. Acting in union with Chevalier 
Gaetano Balbo, brother of the Sardinian Minister in 
Paris, Count Chalembert advised Charles-Emmanuel 
to issue a formal protest against the renunciation of 
his rights extorted from him by force and violence. 


To issue such a protest, given the regime which then 
directed the destinies of France, meant a declaration 
of war. But, strongly encouraged by his Minister, 
and no doubt supported in the step he was taking 
by Marie- Clotilde herself, he signed the document 
without hesitation. It ran thus : 

" I strongly protest against the violence done to 
me in order to obtain my renunciation of my 
Continental States ; I affirm on my royal word that 
I have faithfully fulfilled my engagements towards 
the French Republic. 

" I declare that any accusation of my having held 
secret relations with the enemies of France is false. 
Being the victim of an unforeseen aggression, I 
have only consented to the hard conditions imposed 
on me by force, in order to save my faithful subjects 
from graver calamities. 

" I denounce to all the Courts of Europe the un- 
just conduct of the French Generals and agents, and 
I ask to be replaced upon the throne of my 

After the utterance of this protest all French 
residents had to leave Sardinia. Its ports were 
opened to English ships, and the assistance afforded 
by the fleets of England and Russia sufficiently pro- 
tected the island from the enterprises of the French. 


In the island itself there was indeed a party favour- 
able to the principles of the Revolution, but the 
sight of foreign war-vessels helped to keep order. 

The Due d'Aosta was appointed Governor of 
Cagliari and Gallura ; the Due de Montferrat, 
Governor of Sassari and Logadoro ; later on the 
Due de G^nevois succeeded the Due d'Aosta, 
and the Comte de Maurienne replaced the Due de 

As we have seen, Count Chalembert was in the 
position of Prime Minister. The Sardinians, in 
their enthusiasm for the King and their sympathy 
with his misfortunes, generously relaxed the law 
which reserved exclusively to the inhabitants of the 
island the right to public offices, in order that the 
King might appoint some of the faithful men who 
had followed him in his exile. 

On his part, Charles-Emmanuel published a 
general amnesty in favour of prisoners, within just 
limits ; he reduced the excessive privileges of the 
nobility and the clergy, and made the Custom dues 
applicable to those classes as well as to the rest of 
the people. He reformed the laws of criminal 
procedure, whose slowness often defeated the ends 
of justice, and showed some firmness in dealing 
with the barbarous custom of vendetta. All those 


reforms were good as far as they went, but they fell 
short of what the Sardinian people desired. 

The King was in a difficult position. He would 
have required time to study the needs of his kingdom, 
and he was expected to do everything at once. 
Moreover, the representatives of the clergy and the 
nobility were constantly urging him to repress the 
Liberal tendencies at work among certain sections of 
the population, and his experience in Piedmont was 
only too likely to incline him to listen to their warn- 
ings. The little he did under those circumstances 
shows that on the whole he was not wrongly advised. 
His intentions were certainly good. 

We have no means at this period to ascertain to 
what extent the counsels of Marie-Clotilde influenced 
his political actions. She probably had little to do 
with the measures to which we have alluded. Her 
chief care was to watch over the King's health, and 
to prevent the painful recurrence of the attacks to 
which he was always liable, under any kind ot 
excitement. We see her wisely managing her 
household, and finding places for the devoted men 
and women who, at that time, rejoined the Royal 
Family at Cagliari, and came to form again some- 
thing of a Court around the King and Queen. 
One of her consolations was the arrival of her dear 


Madame Badia, whom she had been compelled to 
leave behind in Turin. She was also able to 
exchange the gloomy Castle of Cagliari for a 
beautiful residence placed at the disposal of the 
King by the Marquis de Villahermosa. This 
change was^ much needed, for Marie - Clotilde 
suffered greatly from the intense heat of the 
climate at that time of the year, especially with 
the heavy woollen dress which she insisted on 

But the comparative peace of those days was soon 
disturbed by two painful losses within the Royal 

The Due de Montferrat, the King's brother, died 
of a fever contracted during a journey on horseback, 
undertaken in order to meet his sister, the Duchesse 
de Chablais, who was going away to rejoin her 
husband in Italy. He had travelled all night, 
regardless of the peculiar risks of the Sardinian 
climate. The Comte de Maurienne succeeded him 
as Governor of Sassari. There is a letter of Marie- 
Clotilde addressed to him, in which she alludes in 
terms of deepest feeling to the death of the Due 
de Montferrat. 

The other sad event was the death of the little 
Prince Charles-Emmanuel, the son of the Due and 


Duchesse d'Aosta, on whom rested the hopes of the 
elder branch of the House of Savoy. He was a 
lovely boy, the idol of his mother, who, indeed, was 
passionately fond of all her children. From the 
first, in spite of the encouraging view taken by the 
physician, she had a presentiment of the danger. 
A mother's heart is not easily deceived. Within 
a few hours her presentiment had been realized, and 
the child lay dead in her arms. The King and 
Marie-Clotilde, summoned in great haste, arrived 
just as the Prince was expiring. 

Meanwhile, grave political events were taking 
place in Italy. The situation there had greatly 
altered. Bonaparte was in Egypt. The Czar, 
Paul I., had made up his mind to crush the French 
Revolution, and he set to work to accomplish this 
object with more energy than had so far been 
displayed by any European Sovereign. His General, 
Souvarow, came, at the head of a large army, to 
assist Austria. The French General, Scherer, was 
defeated at Legnano, Rocco, and Verona ; Moreau 
was beaten by Souvarow himself at Cassano; Joubert 
was killed at the Battle of Novi; and in a short time 
it seemed as if the French Republic was going to 
be driven altogether out of Italy. 

Lombardy and Piedmont fell into the hands of 


the Austro- Russian forces. Mondovi and Ceva 
were taken ; the Pass of Tenda was closed to the 
retreating French army. Everywhere the Pied- 
montese acclaimed Charles-Emmanuel, rendered 
popular by his sufferings, his exile, and the dis- 
appointment caused by the harsh and unwise rule 
of the French Generals. 

England and Russia, Souvarow particularly, were 
favourable to the return of the King of Sardinia, 
but the occupation of Turin by the allied forces 
revealed the differences which existed between the 
aims of the Russian Emperor and those of the 
Austrian Government. The latter, faithful to its 
system of domination in Italy, aimed at keeping its 
hold on Piedmont. For reasons of his own, the 
Czar would not tolerate such a policy. Acting on his 
instructions, Souvarow hastened therefore to advise 
the Comte de St. Andre to take possession of Turin 
in the name of the King of Sardinia, and sent his 
Aide-de-Camp to Cagliari to announce to King 
Charles-Emmanuel the triumph of his arms, and to 
invite him, in the name of the Czar, to return to his 
Continental States. 

The reception of such news produced a magical 
transformation in the health and humour of Charles- 
Emmanuel. He already saw himself restored to the 


throne of his fathers, and he, who six months before 
had shown so much repugnance to a sea-voyage, 
was now anxious to sail for Leghorn without the 
least delay. Having entrusted the government of 
Sardinia to the Due de Genevois, with the title of 
Viceroy, Charles-Emmanuel, with the Queen, the 
Due d'Aosta and his family, started for Leghorn, 
where they arrived on the 22nd of September, on the 
feast of St. Maurice, one of the patron saints of Savoy. 

Although the passage was effected much more 
rapidly this time, the sea was rough enough, and 
the royal passengers suffered a great deal, Marie- 
Clotilde in particular, whose health had been 
seriously weakened by the climate of Sardinia. 

They crossed in an English boat, and there was 
a number of English officers on board. One of 
them had with him a fine and valuable picture of 
the Blessed Virgin, which he had brought back 
from America. Seeing the interest which the 
Queen took in the picture, and the tender devotion 
she manifested in admiring it, that officer ventured 
to offer it to her, and Marie-Clotilde, touched 
by his kindness, accepted it. It was the first 
time that she had had an opportunity of meeting 
any English officers, and she was glad to be able 
to express her gratitude for the services rendered 


to the King by the British navy in Sardinian 

At Leghorn Charles- Emmanuel and his wife 
heard disappointing news. The political situation 
was not as good as they had expected when they 
left Cagliari. They found that the French had re- 
entered the Valley of Aosta as far as Airasca ; on 
the other hand, the Austrians had defeated them 
near Mondovi and compelled them to retire on 
Saluzzo. But the most serious news was the de- 
parture of General Souvarow from Italy, taking 
most of his troops with him to Switzerland. 

They could not understand that. The fact was that 
Souvarow, to his great regret, had been ordered 
from St. Petersburg to go north to support the 
army of General Korsakoff, whom General Massena 
was threatening. The dashing French hero fell 
upon Korsakoff at Zurich, and inflicted a crushing 
defeat upon the Russian arms. When Souvarow 
learnt this, there was nothing left for him to do 
but to make his retreat as well as he could under 
difficult circumstances. He conducted the retreat 
most brilliantly, and managed to bring his army 
safely out of danger. 

But this situation seriously compromised the 
prospects of the King of Sardinia. All his hopes 


had been centred on Russia, and now the departure 
of Souvarow left Piedmont in the hands of Austria, 
whose policy was, as we have seen, as selfish and as 
perfidious as ever. 

We have a distinct allusion to this in a letter 
of Marie-Clotilde to the Due de Genevois, written 
on the 3rd of November. She says, in reference 
to the success of the Austrian army : " Political 
affairs are still bad. The Austrian Generals in Pied- 
mont will not recognize the authority of the King nor 
of his Ministers, particularly at this moment, for the 
reorganization of the army. They themselves desire 
it, but it will never be accomplished so long as 
soldiers are not assured that they will be serving 
their King. My dear husband is now sending a 
messenger to Vienna, for we are persuaded that the 
orders emanating from that Court are not what they 
appear to be. The surest thing about all this is 
that our return [to Piedmont] is not rendered more 
easy, and we both much regret having left Sardinia, 
and, above all, being thus separated from you, my 
dear brother." 

In another letter, entrusted to the care of the 
eminent writer, Joseph de Maistre (who was going 
to Sardinia as Regent of the Royal Chancery), 
and written about the same time, she repeated 


the same complaint : " The Austrians are suc- 
cessful against the French, but our own prospects 
of a prompt return to Piedmont are worse, never- 
theless, instead of better." However, the selfish 
and dishonourable policy of Austria was soon to 
receive its coAdign punishment, as Joseph de Maistre 
had foreseen. 

Bonaparte had suddenly returned from Egypt. 
The coup d'etat of the i8th Brumaire had placed 
in his hands the destinies of France and of Europe, 
and he at once turned his eyes towards Italy, the 
theatre of his first military achievements. He con- 
ceived the bold plan which in an incredibly short 
time resulted in the famous day of Marengo, and 
on that day placed Italy at the mercy of France. 

The Austrian Commander Melas retired hastily 
to Alessandria, and that very night signed the con- 
vention by which he undertook to evacuate Pied- 
mont, Liguria, the duchy of Parma, and Milan, while 
the Treaty of Lun6ville set the River Adige as 
the limit of Austrian influence in Italy. 

These rapid events put an end to Charles- 
Emmanuel's hopes of a restoration. When the 
Czar Paul died — assassinated on the 13th of March, 
1800 — his successor, Alexander I., in treating with 
France, stipulated, indeed, that the interests of the 


King of Sardinia should be amicably considered ; 
but, in the negotiations which followed, it became 
evident that Bonaparte would not under any con- 
sideration give up Piedmont, while Charles- 
Emmanuel would accept no arrangement which 
was not to replace him upon the throne of his 
ancestors. At the time, his tenacity must have 
appeared to many inopportune and unwise, yet it 
was this fidelity to a principle which ultimately re- 
stored Piedmont to his family, and thus prepared 
the way for its larger destinies. 

But we are anticipating the facts of history, and 
must again take up the thread of our narrative. 




The King and Queen and their suite had landed at 
Leghorn on the 22nd of September. On the 30th 
they arrived at Florence, and again took up their 
residence at Poggio Imperiale. There the exiled 
Sovereigns followed day by day the progress of the 
political events to which we have alluded briefly in 
the preceding chapter. It was not always easy to 
understand the news they received, and to realize the 
significance of the reported movements of the 
French, Russian, and Austrian armies. Contra- 
dictory messages now raised, now depressed, the 
hopes of Charles-Emmanuel and his little Court, 
and we know how trying such a situation is even to 
the strong-minded; so we can imagine how it affected 
the poor, weak King's nerves, and consequently 
must have affected also his devoted wife. 



After the success of the Russo-Austrian arms, 
a Council of Regency had been established in 
Piedmont to govern the country in the name 
of the King ; it was also intended that the Council 
should regularly correspond with him, but this 
was not so easily done. The communications 
were slow, sometimes uncertain and irregular, and 
matters of great moment had to be dealt with 
without delay. It is difficult, therefore, to say how 
far the King and the Council of Regency were in 
accord, and shared an equal responsibility in all cases. 

As might have been expected, the Council 
did not attempt to understand the new situation 
created by the stirring events of the last few years. 
Their only idea was to replace everything as it had 
been before the forced abdication of the King. 

Restorations are usually conducted on these lines, 
because it is according to human nature that it 
should be so : it seems easier ; it satisfies the views 
and feelings of those whose convictions and interests 
have been previously disturbed ; it saves the very 
serious labour of elaborating new conceptions of 
government, and also, it must be recognized that 
it is often the only thing that can be done at the 
moment. Even when a man of real ability and 
clear insight, such as Louis XVIII., sees the 


necessity of adapting his traditional views to new 
conditions, he is hampered, hindered, handicapped, 
by his followers, generally plus royalistes que le 
rot; and the history of the French Restoration, 
from 1814 to the death of Louis XVIII., is mainly 
an account of the more or less open conflict between 
him and those who had, as that witty monarch him- 
self said, learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. 

Of course, with a man like Charles-Emmanuel 
there was no such conflict, and we have no reason 
to suppose that the measures adopted by the 
Council of Regency had not his entire approval. 
Nothing was done to satisfy the aspirations of 
populations deeply affected by the principles of the 
French Revolution ; laws which embodied the social 
inequalities of the past were simply re-enacted, and 
the popularity of Charles- Emmanuel, at first so 
great and so genuine, soon gave place to murmurs of 
disappointment. The people had desired his return ; 
now they feared it, lest it should only strengthen 
the kind of government inaugurated under his 

Meanwhile, Charles-Emmanuel, whose intentions 
were certainly excellent, and his love for his people 
most real and sincere, kept up communications with 
Turin as well as he could, and received with much 


interest and uniform kindness any of his subjects 
who happened to pass through Florence. 

Among them came the poet Vittorio Alfieri, who 
then resided in Florence, fixed in that city by his 
attachment to the Countess of Albany, the widow 
of the Young Pretender, Charles Edward.* The 
author of " La Tirannide," though an enemy of 
Kings, in his own impetuous, inconsistent way, was 
at the same time a thorough aristocrat in feeling, 
and a decided foe to the principles and to the 
leaders of the French Revolution. In fact, he 
had rejected with contempt the advances which, at 
one moment, had been made to him, in order to 
induce him to give his support to the revolutionary 
movement in Piedmont. 

When he heard that the King of Sardinia had 
arrived in Florence, a victim of that Revolution 
which had made him an exile, and had robbed 

* Louisa Maria Caroline, daughter of Prince Gustavus Adolphus 
of Stolberg-Gedern, married to Charles-Edward, grandson of 
James 11. of England, in 1772. As is well known, the marriage 
was unhappy. After the death of her husband in 1788, she came 
to reside in Florence, where she continued to be known as 
Countess of Albany, and was a liberal patroness of art and 
literature. Alfieri died in her house in 1803 ; she had a monu- 
ment erected to his memory by Canova, in the Church of Santa 
Croce, where she also is buried beside Alfieri, 



his country of its independence in the sacred name 
of Liberty, the poet, forgetting his own poem on 
Tyranny, came to see Charles-Emmanuel. Offering 
him his hand, the King, with a benevolent smile, 
said to him, " You see the tyrant," and Alfieri, 
without speaking, bent low and kissed his Sovereign's 
hand. He had been, in theory at least, an adversary 
of the royal power ; now he would be the courtier 
of the royal misfortune. He came often after that 
first interview, and his ardent, interesting, patriotic 
conversation was always a source of great pleasure 
to the King in his solitude. If Alfieri tried to 
convert him to new ideas, he probably failed. 
Charles-Emmanuel's views were certainly narrow in 
some respects, but he knew no mental vacillation 
where the rights of his House and the principles of 
his political creed were concerned. 

Marie-Clotilde, as usual, spent her free time in 
visiting churches, in seeking occasions to satisfy her 
love of the poor and her desire to serve them, when 
she could, with her own hands. She was also engaged 
in her usual search after holy persons. One of her 
first visits was to the Carmelite convent of St. Mary 
Magdalen of Pazzi. She spent whole days there, 
joining in the religious exercises of the community, 
sharing their humble fare in the refectory, but 


always declining to have any special attention paid 
to her on account of her rank. Charles- Emmanuel 
stated after her death that he believed she would 
have desired to consecrate herself to God in that 
religious house, if she had been a widow, so highly 
did she esteem the spirit which reigned among those 
daughters of St. Teresa. 

The other convents of Florence, however, were 
not neglected by her, but the winter in that year 
(1800) was extremely severe in Italy, and par- 
ticularly in Florence. She suffered so much from 
the intense cold that the doctors had to insist upon 
her taking some care of herself, and forbade her 
attendance at long services in cold churches. This 
deprived her of some consolation, but it did not 
affect her spiritual life, which in no way depended 
upon external conditions. 

Marie- Clotilde's habitual sense of the presence of 
God was such that she never required those material 
helps, however much her simple faith might make 
her delight in them where they could be had. She 
was in this truly like her ancestor, St. Louis, who, 
when he was told that a wonderful miracle was taking 
place in a church, and was urged to go and see it, 
refused to go, saying that he had no need of such 
a sight in order to believe in what God had 


revealed to men in the Gospels. " Let those go, 
he said, who do not believe."* Marie-Clotilde had 
the same kind of faith. When we see her going to 
Arezzo, to Monte Varchi, to Perugia, to Assisi, to 
Montefalco, and other places of pilgrimage, we see 
her enjoying herself in her own pious way ; but her 
personal religion did not consist in such things. 
She, who never spent a day without reading some 
portion of the golden book of Thomas k Kempis, 
was well aware that — 

" Some carry their devotion only in their books, 
Some in their pictures. 
Some in outward shapes and signs ; 
Some have Me on the lip. 
But little in the heart. 
Others there are who, with enlightened understanding 

and affections purged, 
Pant ever for the Eternal, 
Listening unwillingly to earthly things, 
And with sorrow serving Nature's needs. 
These feel the meaning of the Spirit of Truth that speaks 

in them."f 

Early in the month of June, Charles-Emmanuel 
and Marie-Clotilde thought of going to Pisa to take 
the waters there, when suddenly came the astonish- 
ing news of Bonaparte's passage of the Alps, and of 

* Joinville's " History of St. Louis." 
t " Imitation of Christ," iii. 4. 


the expectation of a great battle at any moment. A 
general panic seized the Italian people, especially 
in Tuscany, and it was at once felt that the King 
of Sardinia's position at Florence might become 
very unsafe in the event of a serious defeat of the 

On the loth of June the King and Queen left 
Florence, and, travelling all night, arrived at Arezzo 
on the following day. There they rested a little, 
awaiting news. It was not long in coming. The 
great battle, Marengo,* had been fought, and Bona- 
parte's victory was complete. All hope was now 
over. There could no longer be any question 
of returning to Florence. They must, on the 
contrary, travel South to avoid the danger of a 
sudden advance of the French. 

In the state of panic which prevailed after 
Marengo, the mobility of the enemy, great as it was 
when Bonaparte was leading, was of course ex- 
aggerated. The exact positions of the French 
troops were not known, and instant flight was felt 
to be the only safe thing. Leaving Arezzo on 
June 21, Charles- Emmanuel and Marie -Clotilda 
arrived at Foligno two days later. They had at 
last reached a place where they could stop with 

* June 12. 


some security and rest from the fatigue of the 
journey, aggravated as it was by the anxieties and 
fears of the last twelve days. 

Foligno was a place of interest to Marie-Clotilde, 
for at least as early as the year 1 795, and probably 
before that date, she had been in correspondence 
with the Abbess of the Franciscan Monastery of 
S. Lucia at Foligno. We do not exactly know the 
reason or origin of these relations, but we may 
perhaps surmise that they were brought about by 
the fact that a nun with a reputation of exceptional 
sanctity resided in that monastery. She was a poor 
lay-sister called Sister Marie-Christine, humble by 
birth, more humble still in spirit. She was almost 
blind, and for years had not been able to leave her 
bed, so great and painful were her infirmities. 

This was one of those holy souls whom Marie- 
Clotilde was ever trying to discover. She, no doubt, 
had heard of the saintly invalid, and she had at 
once tried to gain information about her, and to learn 
something of the ways along which she was being led 
by the Spirit of God. Anyhow, Marie-Clotilde knew 
of the Monastery of S. Lucia, and was in corres- 
pondence with its Abbess, Sister Maria-Luisa Canta- 
galli. When Marie-Clotilde saw that their flight 
would bring them to Foligno, she at once despatched 


two persons of her suite to announce her coming to 
the Abbess, and to request her to find for the King, 
herself and their attendants some suitable lodgings 
in the town. 

The good Abbess hastened to make inquiries, and 
after some delay she succeeded in finding what was 
required in the Palazzo Vitelleschi, situated in the 
Via San Domenico. 

The lady of the house, Marchesa Palmira Giberti, 
wife of the Chevalier Trajan Vitelleschi, became a 
great friend of Marie-Clotilde during the ten days 
which the Queen spent under her roof, and later on 
she visited her in Rome and at Frascati. After the 
Queen's death, the Marchesa was called as a witness 
by the ecclesiastical authorities, when Marie-Clotilde's 
beatification was being considered, and she spoke 
most highly of her supereminent virtue, and of the 
detachment from all earthly honours and interests, 
which she invariably manifested, except where the 
welfare of the King's subjects was concerned. 

Marie-Clotilde's first visit, on her arrival at Fo- 
ligno, was, naturally, to the Monastery of S. Lucia. 
She spent over three hours there, making the 
acquaintance of all the members of the com 
munity, and having a long spiritual conversation 
with the invalid lay-Sister, Maria-Christina Belci 


In the afternoon she called again, bringing the 
King with her. We are told* that from that time 
the community of S. Lucia began to have regular 
daily prayers for the Sovereigns of the House of 
Savoy, and that, in spite of the political changes 
which have since taken place in Italy, those prayers 
have always been continued without interruption. 
Such an attitude on the part of the good Sisters is 
certainly in accordance with the spirit of their 
great father, St. Francis of Assisi. 

The King and Queen were most agreeably 
surprised to find at Foligno Cardinal Costa, the 
Archbishop of Turin. He had come to receive 
the new Pope, Pius VII., who was expected to 
arrive at Foligno from Ancona. The sight of one 
who recalled by his office the memory of his beloved 
Turin was to Charles-Emmanuel a great event and 
a great joy, soon followed by the bitter thought that 
he probably might not live to see Turin again. But 
Cardinal Costa spoke of the fidelity of the Pied- 
montese people to their Sovereign, of their silent 
anger against the invaders of their country, and of 
other political circumstances calculated to raise a feel- 

* " Lettere di Ven. Maria-Clotilda alle monache Cappucine di 
S. Lucia de Foligno," published by Don M. F. Pulignani, 
Foligno, 1887. 


ing of hope in the heart of the exiled King ; above 
all, the Cardinal entertained him with a full account 
of the elevation of Pius VII. to the pontifical chair, 
and that was a subject of supreme interest for the 
King and for Marie-Clotilde. We must in a few 
words recall the facts of the new Pope's election at 
Venice before we describe his arrival at Foligno. 

On the 29th of August, 1799, Pius VI. had died 
at Valence, in France. Although more than eighty- 
four years of age at the time of his death, it may well 
be believed, as many of his co-religionists believed and 
said, that he had succumbed, not so much to old age, 
as to the harsh treatment of the Republican Govern- 

Soon after the visit paid by Charles- Emmanuel 
and Marie-Clotilde to the aged Pontiff at Florence, 
mentioned in a previous chapter, it had been pro- 
posed that Pius VI. should join the King and Queen 
of Sardinia, and take up his residence in that island, 
and for a time the Directoire had appeared to 
favour such a solution of an embarrassing question. 
But suddenly the French Ambassador raised objec- 
tions, on the plea that the Pope should not be 
permitted to reside in the dominions of the King of 
Sardinia. He must be allowed to live only where 
the Republic could have entire control of his actions. 


Very soon afterwards, on the ist of April, 1799, 
by order of the Directoire, Pius VI. was taken away 
to Valence, on French territory, and obliged to 
remain there. As we have said, death brought him 
deliverance a few months later. 

In December, the Sacred College of Cardinals was 
able to meet in Venice, and on the 14th of March, 
1800, Cardinal Chiaramonti was elected Pope, and 
assumed the name of Pius VII. After two months 
of delay, caused by the exigencies of Austrian politics, 
the new Pontiff was at last permitted to make his 
way to Rome, and arrived by sea at Pesaro, whence 
he travelled to Ancona and Foligno. He was there 
just in time to keep the feast of St. Peter on the 
29th of June. 

At the request of the Queen of Sardinia, 
Pius VII. gave the solemn pontifical blessing 
to the assembled crowds on the square in front of 
the cathedral. The ceremony lacked the pomp and 
circumstance which it presented at Rome when the 
Pope pronounced the Benediction " Urbi et orbi " 
from the balcony of St. Peter's. Yet it was 
essentially the same great act, and, after all the 
recent political vicissitudes, it was considered a 
cause for much satisfaction and thankfulness by the 
good Catholics of Foligno. 


Pius VII. saw much of Charles- Emmanuel and 
Marie-Clotilde during his short stay at Foligno. 
He paid them an official visit at the Palazzo 
Vitelleschi, and the fact of this visit is recalled there 
by the following inscription : 




QUA . 














Another similar inscription, commemorating the 
visit of the King and Queen, and the residence of 
Pius VII. at Foligno, may also be seen at the 
episcopal palace. 

Before we follow Marie-Clotilde on her way to 
Rome, we must say something of the letters 
addressed by her to the Abbess of the Monastery 


of S. Lucia, which were published by Don Michel 
Pulignani in 1887. Of these letters,* twenty- 
three remain. Four of them passed into the 
hands of a Father Bonaventura, who published 
them at Palermo ; several are in the possession 
of the Marchese Vitelleschi ; the others are care- 
fully preserved by the community of S. Lucia. 
These letters are all written in Italian. The style, 
although very clear and always intelligible, is 
obviously the style of one writing in a foreign 
language. Marie-Clotilde is not the only one who 
found it easier to speak Italian than to write it 

Two days after the departure of Pius VII., 
Charles- Emmanuel and Marie-Clotilde started 
for Rome, which they so much desired to see, 
and to which the Pontiff had invited them. The 
journey passed off without any incidents, except 
at Terni, where a quarrel arose between some of 
the members of their suite. The Queen, with her 
usual tact, re-established peace, and managed to 
keep her sensitive husband in ignorance of that 
unpleasant circumstance. 

* These letters are quite distinct from those published by 
Comte de Reiset (Paris : Firmin Didot), which were discovered 
in the archives of the Court of Turin. 


At last they reached Rome. They could now 
for a moment forget the past, and enjoy the great 
sights, the devotional opportunities, and the un- 
definable charm of the Eternal City. This visit 
was to be one of the few brief consolations in the 
life of Marie-Clotilde, since the day when she had 
left Versailles and France for ever. 




A FIRST visit to Rome is always an event in one's 
life, even if one can only lay claim to a moderate 
degree of culture ; to the ripe scholar, the real artist, 
or the learned antiquarian, it becomes a supreme 
event. Athens makes perhaps, in some respects, 
even a stronger appeal to the feelings of antiquarians, 
scholars, and artists. Rome has many noble ruins, 
but nothing like the Parthenon. Still, the resources 
for study are much greater in Rome. The accumu- 
lated artistic treasures in museums, churches, and 
palaces, are incomparably more numerous, and each 
period of history, at any rate as regards our Western 
world, is represented with almost unparalleled 
fulness, and in many cases in an unique manner. 

To the student of Christian antiquities, Rome is, 
of course, an inexhaustible field for research ; to 
those concerned, not merely with the study of 



comparative religion, but with religion itself, Rome 
cannot fail to be profoundly interesting, whatever 
may be the point of view from which we approach 
the subject. There, if anywhere, " II s'agit de tout 
comprendre non de tout admirer," although perhaps 
another philosophical axiom, "Tout comprendre c'est 
tout pardonner," even more truly represents the con- 
clusion of those who have laboured in that field in a 
higher spirit. 

But Marie-Clotilde, on her first visit to Rome, 
did not enter its walls as a scholar, an antiquarian, 
an artist, or a student of comparative religion. 
She entered Rome with her warm heart full 
of holy enthusiasm, of spiritual exultation and 
unwavering faith. Religion free from all selfish 
aims, all unworthy greed, all political intrigues, 
was what she lived for, and she entered the Eternal 
City fully persuaded that it was the sacred home of 
what religion meant for her. During her stay in 
Rome, she visited most of the sights which were 
then usually shown to travellers, and we shall see 
from her letters that she took a real interest in 
what she saw ; but " where our treasure is, there 
must our heart be also," and it is clear that her 
heart was in Christian and Catholic Rome more 
than in anything else. 


Her first visit was to St. Peter's. It was just the 
day when the Church celebrates the octave of the 
Apostle's feast. She descended to the "grotte 
nuove," and made her devotions in the subterranean 
chapel of the Confessio, the shrine of SS. Peter 
and Paul ; then she proceeded to visit the other 
basilicas, ending a long day with the ascent of the 
Scala Santa on her knees, according to pious 
custom. This seemed to tire her very much, for 
the King noticed that she was bathed in perspiration 
at the time. 

On the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 
(July 1 6) Charles - Emmanuel and Marie - Clotilde 
went to Frascati to enjoy a cooler and purer air, and 
to rest a little ; for in Rome they could not resist the 
temptation of going about to see things, and, more- 
over, it was difficult to obtain real privacy where so 
many people wished to be presented, or to be 
received by them. 

But their desire to miss none of the great 
Church festivals must have seriously interfered with 
their rest at Frascati. They were back in Rome 
early in August for a great feast at Santa Maria 
Maggiore. In spite of an attack of fever, Marie- 
Clotilde was again in Rome for the feast of the 
Assumption on the 15th of August, and on the 


29th of August she was there again for the anni- 
versary service in memory of Pius VI., returning to 
Frascati that same evening, for the King and 
Queen were to dine with Prince and Princess 

That Princess Colonna {nSe Princess Catherine 
of Savoy-Carignano) was the youngest sister of 
the unfortunate Princess de Lamballe, so cruelly done 
to death in Paris during the September massacres. 
She had married Prince Colonna, Constable of the 
Kingdom of Naples. They had placed the Palazzo 
Colonna at the disposal of Charles- Emmanuel and 
Marie-Clotilde during their stay in Rome, but the 
King and Queen made Frascati their principal 
residence. They enjoyed there a greater freedom, 
and on the whole their health was better there than 
in Rome, especially during the summer months. 

Their suite grumbled somewhat. They found 
Frascati too damp, and complained of tertian fever ; 
but the Queen told them that it was their own fault ; 
they were not careful enough at sunset. She was 
more careful herself, but nevertheless she too 
caught the fever. She paid little attention to it, and 
went on with her occupations just as usual. By the 
end of September she must have been pretty well 
again, for she says in one of her letters to the Due 



d'Aosta : " We take advantage of the summer to 
enjoy long walks, like those which I used to take 
with your dear wife at Moncalieri. This remembrance 
makes me think our walks still more lovely, but 
to-day we shall probably do nothing ; for we are 
having just now our second thunderstorm since this 
morning, and the hail has broken a few panes of 
glass in our windows." 

In another letter, addressed to Comte de 
Maurienne (October 31), Marie-Clotilde gives a 
lively description of their life at Frascati. Among 
other things, she says : " Our walks are regular 
journeys. The other day we climbed about as high 
as the Chapel of the Magdalen at Moncalieri, in 
order to see the ruins of Tusculum and of the Villa 
of Cicero. One can still see a sort of gallery and 
several rooms. . . . The guide who was taking us 
round very gravely stated that in one of those 
rooms Cicero gave audiences ; that he worked in 
another. As a matter of fact, there is not much left 
of those old places, but nevertheless we have 
enjoyed our expedition very much, either because 
of the glory of having seen the Villa of Cicero, or 
because our trip was enlivened by so much gaiety. . 
We walked, in three instalments, four hours and a 
quarter. The last hundred steps to reach the 


grottoes were not without merit, for we had to climb 
like goats among the thorns. Hence I was very- 
glad to have, besides the arm of the Marquis de 
Saint-Thomas, also the arm of Capra, the postilion, 
who fortunately was there when I found myself in 
a very serious difficulty. Madame de Ternengo 
(Lady-in- Waiting) managed all right by the help of 
Lupi's arm. As you may well imagine, my aunt 
(Princess Felicita) was not with us. I really 
thought that poor Sorjo would die of it, but he was 
more cheerful and active than all the rest. I was 
going to forget a remarkable incident : We came 
upon three brigands armed from head to foot, but 
when they saw our large party of fifteen persons 
they were terribly frightened. Du Noyer asked 
them if they were not vineyard watchers, and they 
felt so reassured by such a question that they 
saluted us in the most graceful manner without 
uttering a word." 

There is a childlike simplicity, a capacity for 
innocent enjoyment, a freshness and gaiety, in those 
letters which we do not generally associate, it may 
be from prejudice, with stern asceticism and claustral 

Meanwhile political news pursued the poor exiles, 
and disturbed the peace of their retreat at Frascati. 


On the 15th of October came the news that the 
French armies were rapidly moving towards Central 
Italy, and that they might almost at once enter the 
Pontifical States. The Pope began to fear for his 
own safety, and it was proposed that he should seek 
refuge in Sardinia. 

This proposal did not altogether meet the views 
of Charles- Emmanuel. Should the Pope insist 
on going to Sardinia, he must, of course, go there 
himself in order to receive the Sovereign Pontiff. 
But the King had reason to believe that his island 
kingdom was by no means a safe place for him, 
under the circumstances created by the victories of 
Bonaparte ; he had little confidence in the present 
dispositions of the population of Sardinia, and he 
apprehended at any moment a French invasion of 
the island. He was therefore disinclined to risk 
going there, and his idea was, to retire to Sicily. 
But to Sicily the Pope would not go. In fact, great 
efforts were made in some quarters to prevent 
Pius VII. from leaving Rome. 

We can easily imagine the uncertainties, the 
panics, the plans altered from day to day, almost 
from hour to hour, the hopes and fears, the succes- 
sion of news true and false, which embittered the 
life of our poor exiles at that time. On the 7th of 


November, Marie-Clotilde wrote to the Comte de 
Maurienne : " We have not budged from this place 
[Rome] because the French have not yet crossed 
the frontier of Tuscany ; otherwise we should have 
quickly departed." It is hardly possible to conceive 
a more painful and humiliating situation. 

One difficulty, however, was soon removed from 
their path. The Pope would have no need to 
seek a refuge in Sardinia ; Bonaparte, far from 
wishing to trouble him, was, on the contrary, pre- 
paring to initiate negotiations with him, with a view 
to arranging a Concordat between France and 
the Holy See. The King and Queen were there- 
fore free to consider their own case exclusively ; 
Sardinia was out of the question ; Sicily was very far. 
They decided to go to Naples, which they reached 
on the 25th of November, 1800. 

On the way, Marie-Clotilde suffered much from the 
severe weather, and contracted a fever which com- 
pelled her, on their arrival, to keep her bed for 
several days. The political news in Naples seemed 
better ; it was reported that the French troops 
had been ordered to remain outside the Pontifical 
States. The King and Queen began to feel that 
they had run away from Rome with unnecessary 
haste. For some unknown reason (perhaps because 


they had not renewed their offer to receive Pius VII. 
in Sardinia), they seem to have felt some scruples 
on the subject ; at least, this can be inferred from 
a letter of Marie-Clotilde to a Franciscan Father, 
one of her spiritual directors, in which she mentions 
such a feeling, adding, however, that when they left 
Rome their motives for doing so were only too well 
justified. It may be that the King was afraid to have 
shown himself too apprehensive on the occasion. 

From the Queen's letters to Princess Colonna, 
we see that she and the King thought already of 
returning to Rome for the Christmas festivities, but 
a circumstance made that impossible. The Duchesse 
d'Aosta, who was also at Naples, was expecting to 
be confined almost at once, and Marie-Clotilde was 
anxious to assist her, as she had always done in past 
years when they lived in Turin. The Queen had 
just received Holy Communion in the Church of 
S. Catarina a Chiaia, when a carriage came to fetch 
her, with an urgent message from the Duchesse. 
Leaving " God for God," according to her rule, she 
rushed to her sister-in-law's bedside, and never left 
her until all was safely over. 

It was now too late to get to Rome for Christmas 
that year. She wrote to Princess Colonna: "We 
cannot think of returning to Rome now, and I trust 


that our Lord will grant me some day that consola- 
tion . . . but, somehow, consolations are not meant 
for me." And in another letter to the same Princess : 
** Have pity, and do not speak to me of Rome, of 
the missions there — nay, do not speak of yourself; 
for all this causes me regrets that I cannot any more 
endure. I only think of Rome, of the churches in 
Rome, and of that charming and edifying home 
where dwells my dear * Connetable.' " Later on 
she wrote that the most unpleasant weather in 
Rome would be more agreeable to her than the 
mild climate of Naples. 

As regards Naples itself, she disliked the noise of 
its streets and the ways of its people. " I am pleased 
with the churches," she would say, " but I cannot 
hide my regrets at seeing them only frequented by 
the lower classes." Writing to the Due de Gdnevois, 
she says again : *' You are quite right, my dear 
brother, in believing that Naples is not to my 
taste. . . . The position is superb, I may say 
unique, with the most beautiful sky, a rich soil, 
and, at this time, a delicious climate . . . but 
when all this is said, there is nothing very 
beautiful in the town itself; it is all grey, like 
Cagliari, to which, I assure you, it bears a great 


This appreciation of Naples by Marie-Clotilde is 
interesting, because it is so naturally expressed, and 
we feel it corresponds exactly to her own instinctive 
view of things. It cannot be said that she was either 
blind or insensible to natural beauty, but the word 
"beauty" had come to mean for her something beyond 

..." the light of setting suns, 
And the round ocean, and the living air, 
And the blue sky." 

No doubt, like St. Francis of Assisi, she had a 
tender reverence for Nature, because of her religious 
conviction that all living things are creatures of 
God ; but as a true mystic, as an unconscious 
Platonist, we might say, she discerned in her vision 
of Beauty, not so much the passing shows of the 
world of sense, as the eternal Idea in which the 
Beautiful is one with the Good and the True. And 
the idea was more to her than its expression in the 
things that are seen, because of a consciousness 

..." habitually infused 
Through every image and through every thought. 
And all aflfections by communion raised 
From earth to heaven, from human to divine." * 

Something similar must be the experience of all 
who really "see into the life of things," and are not 

* Wordsworth, " Prelude," xiv. 112. 


satisfied with the mere enjoyment of what appears 
reflected on their surface. Beauty without Truth 
is no real Beauty ; true Beauty divorced from Good- 
ness is unthinkable. Hence beautiful Naples, with 
the worldly lives of her upper classes, and the igno- 
rance and superstition of her people, ceased to 
appear beautiful to Marie-Clotilde, except in a 
superficial sense which her mind and heart were 
ever transcending. 

Besides, when we are distracted by painful 
thoughts and continual anxieties, it is not easy for 
us to preserve an aesthetic mood, even in Naples. 
On the loth of January the little daughter of the 
Duchesse d'Aosta died before she had even been 
named. "She has thought well, and with much 
reason, to go to Paradise," said Marie-Clotilde — a 
phrase which betrays at once the sadness of her 
daily life and the bent of her religious faith. 

Writing about the same time to a venerable 
ecclesiastic who possessed her confidence,* she asks 
his prayers : ** We want them very much indeed ; for 
not only things are taking a turn for the worse, but they 
are getting more and more mixed up and confused, 
especially as regards our more personal and intimate 
interests. You know what I mean. That is the 
* Father de Vineanello, 


worst ; for if it were only a question of suffering, I 
would willingly submit to that : but not to know 
what to do for the best ! ... to find oneself con- 
stantly opposed ! ... to see new obstacles arising 
when one had just discovered the way to act !" 

And to the Due de G6nevois she says in the 
same strain : " Our affairs go from bad to worse, 
and become every day more embarrassing and 
thorny ; and with all that, as usual, discord and 
differences of opinion and intention come to increase 
our general miseries." 

Then Princess Felicit^ had a severe illness 
which threatened to put an end to the plans the 
King and Queen were making for a journey to 
Rome, and almost at the same time came the 
death of their old friend and adviser, the Bailli of 
St. Germain. His loss was a great blow, to the 
King especially, who for more than forty years had 
been accustomed to lean upon his devotion and ex- 
perience, and who was, by character, so much in need 
of such support. That good and faithful servant 
died not so much from a definite illness as from old 
age. He had been attached to the person of Charles- 
Emmanuel when the Prince was only seven years 
old, and since then he had never left him, except 
during the short time between the departure of the 


Royal Family from Turin and their arrival at Parma, 
where the Bailli, kept at first as a prisoner of war 
by the French, was soon liberated, and at once 
rejoined his King. 

The good Bailli was not sincerely regretted by 
Charles-Emmanuel alone. He had won the deep 
affection and respect of Marie-Clotilde herself ; and 
this means much for his character, for it is not 
uncommon, at Court or elsewhere, to find that men 
in similar positions either excite jealousy or give 
offence by their efforts to maintain their influence. 
But he seems to have always helped rather than 
hindered the cordial union which existed between 
the King and Queen, and Marie-Clotilde was too 
observant not to realize how healthy was the 
influence exercised by him over her husband. In 
one of her letters she calls the good man's death 
"an irreparable loss," and she adds: "The Lord 
wishes us to be deprived of every human consola- 
tion. His most holy will be done!" 

She asked her confessor and others to pray for 
the late Bailli ; she had many Masses said for the 
repose of his soul, and she seems to have been 
scarcely consoled by a revelation said to have been 
vouchsafed to a pious person, from which it appeared 
that the soul of the Bailli of St. Germain was in 


Purgatory. " This ought to give me great joy," 
she writes to the Abh6 Marconi ; " but you see 
how imperfect is my spirit of resignation. I cannot 
find peace when I think of the dear man suffering 
in Purgatory." And she goes on begging further 
spiritual help for him. If the value of human 
prayers is measured by the simple faith and the 
loving earnestness with which they are offered, there 
is every reason to believe that the good Bailli 
was not long detained on his way to Paradise. 

Marie-Clotilde's charity was soon to have its 
reward. Princess Felicitk was now pronounced to 
be out of danger, and the King and Queen were 
therefore able to satisfy their longing to pay another 
visit to the Eternal City. On the 23rd of March 
they left Naples ; the feast of the Annunciation 
was kept at Terracina; another devotional duty 
detained them for a short time at Velletri, and at 
last they found themselves in Rome again, in time 
for the religious ceremonies and services of Holy 



The King and Queen had accepted the hospitality- 
offered to them by Princess Colonna. To Hve 
under her roof was a great joy for Marie-Clotilde, 
for she was deeply attached to the Princess, in 
whose house she found every means of satisfying 
her own pious aspirations. In the chapel of the 
Colonna Palace, spiritual exercises were being given 
during the Holy Week by Father Vincent Strambi, 
a Passionist, who afterwards became Bishop of 

The whole day at that time seems to have been 
spent by the King, the Queen, and the Princess, 
in attending services, listening to sermons, and 
visiting churches, and one wonders how so frail 
a constitution as that of Marie-Clotilde could stand 
such a strain and exhibit so much activity. On Holy 

177 23 


Thursday, for instance, we find her assisting at the 
morning offices at St. Peter's ; after dinner at the 
Corsini Palace, she visits on foot the seven patri- 
archal churches ; then she returns to the Vatican 
for another service ; and in the evening she is in the 
Church of the Holy Apostles, listening to a sermon 
on the Passion. On Good Friday she attends the 
solemn office at St. Peter's ; she follows the de- 
votional exercises of the Three Hours at Sta Maria 
del Carmine, and is just in time to get to St. John 
Lateran to see an ordination service, to assist at the 
evening offices, and to witness the baptism of a Turk. 

Of course she was very tired and feverish, but 
nevertheless she missed none of the great ceremonies 
on Easter Sunday, and her time was no less labori- 
ously employed during the whole of Easter Week. 

Whence came so much strength and energy in that 
weak frame ? From the will, we must perhaps say ; 
our psychological knowledge can hardly suggest any 
other answer ; yet who can tell how much is meant 
by such an answer .-* 

The same difficulty confronts us in the case ot 
many well-known saints, who have shown such 
astonishing activity with a body weakened by pro- 
longed ascetic practices and by chronic diseases. 
We think of St. Francis of Assisi, of St. Catharine 


of Siena, of St. Teresa, of St. John of the Cross, 
and so many others who, although always in a most 
wretched state of health, were able to do so much in 
days when the ways of life were considerably harder 
than in our own. They seem to have been conscious 
that their strength was not their own, but was given 
to them in some mysterious way for a purpose, when 
it was needed. We can no more explain such 
phenomena than we can rationally account for the 
daemon of Socrates. We can only see that Marie- 
Clotilde belonged to that class of chosen souls in 
whom a pure, spiritual, intense faith sustained by love 
can communicate to the whole physical frame, at 
least occasionally, a surprising power and vitality. 

This is psychologically interesting and important, 
for that power, that strength, were not merely shown 
by Marie-Clotilde when she was attracted to cere- 
monies or services at which we might conceive her 
to have been supported by the natural taste she had 
for them. The same remarkable strength is exhibited 
by her, not for a few hours, but for days, and even 
nights, at the bedside of the sick and dying, under 
circumstances which we know, perhaps by personal 
experience, to be particularly trying and exhausting 
even for persons in fair health. 

Thus, soon after Marie-Clotilde's arrival in Rome, 


the King's aunt, Princess Felicity, rejoined them 
there, but her health, seriously shaken by her 
grave illness in Naples, soon gave way again, 
owing, perhaps, to the change of climate, and it 
became evident that her life this time was in danger. 
Marie-Clotilde at once constituted herself her nurse, 
scarcely ever leaving her bedside, although this 
was rendered particularly trying by the repugnant 
nature of the disease. Marie-Clotilde undertook 
the most painful and repulsive offices in connection 
with the nursing of the dying Princess, and during 
the thirty long hours of her last agony she never 
left her side. 

The parish priest, summoned to attend the 
Princess, endeavoured to suggest to her pious 
thoughts, and recited the usual prayers ; but 
Marie-Clotilde, watching by the bed, saw clearly 
that the patient had lost consciousness, and could 
not hear what the priest said. She did not, however, 
tell him so, but let him speak, as we are told, 
thinking to herself that, if the good man's words 
were useless for the Princess, she at least might 
profit by them. This detail deserves to be mentioned, 
as it is so characteristic of Marie-Clotilde. 

This was hardly over, when Madame Badia, who 
had recently suffered from two paralytic strokes. 


became very ill, and the King had to intervene 
to prevent Marie- Clotilde from passing the nights 
as well as the days with her. While she was 
nursing Madame Badia, an interesting and charac- 
teristic incident took place in the patient's bedroom. 
The surgeon in charge of the case having to change 
some bandages, looked round for assistance, and 
seeing by the bed a woman of modest appear- 
ance, he took her for one of the attendants, and 
asked her to help him. He demanded some pieces 
of linen, and ordered her to hold a candle ; the 
woman meekly obeyed his directions without a 

When all was done, she went out of the room, and 
the surgeon, following her, noticed with surprise the 
marks of respect which the servants at the door 
were showing towards his improvised assistant. 
** Who is she ?" said the surgeon to Mademoiselle 
Stuper, who was in attendance on Marie-Clotilde. 
But Dr. Pentene, who had heard the question, 
said to him : " It is the Queen." At these words, 
Marie-Clotilde, who had heard them, turned round 
and made a most gracious salutation to the surgeon, 
and again before entering her apartments she 
bowed to him, so as to make him realize that she 
was not offended by his mistake. 



Next morning, when the surgeon came to visit his 
patient, the Queen was there, and he at once fell 
on his knees and begged her forgiveness for his 
mistake of the preceding day. But she would not 
suffer him to continue, and said to him: "You 
did quite rightly ; always do likewise." Ever after, 
the surgeon (Enrico was his name) could not 
mention this story without emotion, and he would 
exclaim : " Imagine the sister of a King, the wife of 
a King, with such humility ! Truly she is a saint." 
If he believed in the laws of heredity, he might 
have added, " and a daughter of St. Louis," and 
that might have been to him some explanation of 
the character he so much admired. 

Without going so far back as St. Louis, we cannot 
fail to recognize a family trait in the kindness 
and generosity of Marie- Clotilde towards all those 
who were attached in any degree to her person. 
Her brother Louis XVI., in the Temple prison, 
only a few hours before his execution, was full of 
consideration and thought for his faithful valet de 
chambre. Among the most charming letters of her 
sister Madame Elizabeth are those addressed to 
some of the ladies in her service, and we know 
with what care she looked after the humblest people 
about her at Montreuil, her house near Versailles. 


In the same way we see Marie-Clotilde always 
attentive, obliging, and considerate, towards all, 
whether Ladies -in -Waiting, Women of the Bed- 
chamber, coachmen, or girls employed in the kitchen. 
In a sense, it is true that such was very much 
the attitude of all good people before the French 
Revolution. There was a feeling of family life which 
extended to all the members of the household ; 
masters realized that good servants had a claim to 
something more than their wages, and servants 
felt themselves to be more than mere servants in the 
house of their lords. Hence a familiarity existed 
which did not exclude respect, in those days, between 
masters and servants. 

All the memoirs of that epoch bear witness to 
that state of things, and those of us who are no 
longer young can perhaps remember the last signs 
of that spirit which still lingered in the homes of 
their childhood. To-day the clannish feeling of 
kinship has been replaced by definite claims of 
legal rights corresponding to certain duties. The 
master must abstain from a show of sympathy which 
might possibly be misunderstood, and the servant 
would repudiate any view of personal devotion 
which might be construed into servility. In countries 
like America, for instance, this tendency has ripened 


into a system which is no doubt prophetic of the 
future in old Europe. Unfortunately, this is not the 
only change which time has brought about in the 
conception of the family. 

The following letter of Marie-Clotilde to Madame 
Badia will show clearly how free she was from any 
preoccupation of rank or etiquette in dealing with 
people for whom she had real esteem. Madame 
Badia was only the wife of a Turin lawyer, but 
Marie-Clotilde knew the sincerity of her devotion to 
herself, and that was enough. She wrote thus from 
Caserta(May 26, 1801) : 

" My Dearest, 

" I will not remain longer without paying you 
a visit — at least in writing, since I am deprived of 
the pleasure of seeing you. You may imagine what 
sorrow it was to me to leave Rome, all the more 
because I had not the courage to go to my dear 
' Conn^table ' [Princess Colonna], whom I love and 
esteem so much, in order to bid her good-bye. I 
was so glad to hear, through the Marquise de Saint- 
Georges, that your health continues to improve. 
Nurse yourself as well as you can, and, above all, be 
very obedient to the orders of the good doctor 
Bonelli, whom I pray you to salute for me, as well 


as the two Zandeler, the surgeon, and especially 
our good curd. Tell him that I was so sorry to 
have to go away without seeing him and thanking 
him for all the charity he has shown towards my 
aunt and towards ourselves. Commend me to his 
prayers. Our physician [Dr. Pentene] salutes you. 
He does not write in the fear of tiring you too 
much with so many letters. The King sends you 
many messages, and I kiss you tenderly, assuring 
you of my very sincere affection," etc. 

From this letter we gather that the King and 
Queen had left Rome. Their departure was sudden. 
On the 1 8th of May (1801), after dinner, a letter 
came from the Due d'Aosta, together with very 
pressing advice from Naples, sent by a Russian 
General, recommending their immediate departure 
from Rome for Naples, in order to insure the safety 
of the King. What the danger was does not appear 
clearly, but the royal exiles must have thought that 
it was real, for Marie-Clotilde, in a letter to the 
Due de Genevois, says : "It was indeed the provi- 
dence of God which sent us warning through the 
Russian General, and which suggested to the King, 
not only to start at once, but to hide our departure 
from Rome under the pretext of an expedition to 


Frascati, for otherwise we should have met with 

Anyhow, they had to go, and on the 19th of 
May, at nine o'clock in the morning, they started 
for Caserta, the King and Queen of Naples having 
placed their magnificent palace there at their 
disposal. Marie-Clotilde found herself at Caserta 
in the same apartments which, only two years before, 
had been occupied by her aunts Madame Adelaide 
and Madame Victoire. Those two Princesses, like 
herself, had been driven from Rome in 1796 by the 
progress of the Revolution, and they had found a 
refuge in the Palace of Caserta until the beginning 
of the year 1799, when the kingdom of Naples 
began, in its turn, to feel the effect of revolu- 
tionary ideas. After many distressing adventures 
they reached Trieste, where Madame Victoire 
died on the 8th of June, 1799, and Madame 
Adelaide on the i8th of February of the following 

Thus painful associations came to increase Marie- 
Clotilde's regrets at having to leave Rome. King 
Charles- Emmanuel himself wished, if possible, to be 
in Naples, where news could be more promptly 
received. But there seems to have been consider- 
able difficulty in finding a suitable house for them 


in the town. At last one was found, and they were 
able to leave Caserta. 

While in Naples, the news reached them of the 
conclusion of the Concordat between France and 
the Holy See. They could not have realized at the 
time the unexpected advantages which the Church 
was to reap from an act forced upon the Pontiff 
by the irresistible will of Bonaparte, but they realized 
only too well that the situation thus created meant 
their final exile from Turin. Nothing now remained 
to them beyond the sovereignty of Sardinia, and we 
have seen in preceding chapters how very unsatis- 
factory the situation was even there. 

Still, in that year (1801) the King and Marie- 
Clotilde were cheered by the news that, while the 
wheat harvest threatened to be very bad in Italy, it 
promised to be unusually abundant in Sardinia. 
Marie-Clotilde wrote to the Due de G6nevois to 
inform him of the King's intentions in respect to 
the harvest. The needs of the island were to be, 
first of all, carefully provided for, and a reserve 
made for the following year. Then the Pope's 
request that a proportion of the harvest should be 
allotted for the needs of Rome was to be attended 
to. Finally, the similar request made by the King 
of Naples on behalf of his kingdom was to be 


considered. Moreover, Charles- Emmanuel desired 
that a reserve of wheat should be sent to Malta, to 
be kept there for his own personal needs. 

The Due de G^nevois, better informed of the 
situation on the spot, was made rather uneasy by 
so many demands, and his difficulties were soon 
increased by the discovery that the harvest was 
not by any means as abundant as public rumour 
had led them all to expect. It became evident 
that the promises made to Rome and Naples could 
hardly be kept. The Pope still pressed for some 
wheat, and the King and Queen wished to satisfy 
him, even if they could not also satisfy the King of 
Naples. But the Due de G6nevois must have 
defended very strongly the prior claims of Sardinia, 
for Marie-Clotilde wrote to him on the 12th of 
November: "We have been much afflicted by the 
bad news of the harvest, which had been announced 
as likely to prove so excellent. It is in view of that 
expectation that the King had made promises (to 
Rome and Naples), but it was far from his intention 
that those promises should be made to the prejudice 
of his subjects' food. ... It is only when that is 
assured that he desires that you should favour, if 
possible, the claims of the Pope, and afterwards 
those of the Crown Prince of Naples." 


Marie- Clotilde was naturally anxious to show 
some return to Pius VII. for his kindness to them 
in Rome, but she, like Charles-Emmanuel, was 
determined that nothing should be done which 
might prove detrimental to the people committed to 
their care. 



Marie-Clotilde was a saint, for she lived and 
acted fully and constantly according to the supreme 
religious ideal that was in her. We may discuss 
the validity of some aspects of that ideal, but we 
cannot doubt the sincerity of her faith and the 
power of that faith over her soul. The secret of her 
spiritual strength lay in the complete harmony between 
her view of a perfect life and the obedience of her 
will to that view, realized as the will of God. 

There was no suspicion of conventionality about 
her religious convictions and attitude. Her life, 
indeed, has that something in it which has made 
the " Imitation " of Thomas a Kempis an accept- 
able book of devotional reading to men and women 
of the most opposite creeds ; it recalls to our minds 
the striking prayer at the close of the "Phaedrus" 
of Plato, in which Socrates is represented as saying : 



" Give me beauty in the inward soul, and grant that 
what we have outwardly may be in concord with 
that which is within. May the outward and the 
inward man be at one !" In words of her own she 
had often prayed such a prayer, and she had been 
heard of Him who is that Beauty of the inward soul 
for which His saints hunger and thirst. 

We said that there was no religious convention- 
ality about her. This explains the ease with which 
she could pass from the deep peace of her hours of 
prayer to the many duties and interests of her daily 
life. Even politics, distasteful as they must have 
been to her, enter largely into her correspondence. 
One can see that she did not deal with such a subject 
merely because, as a loving wife, she had to help 
the King, who was so often unfit for work and 
unable to attend to any business. She follows the 
political events from day to day with evident 
interest ; she is keen about news ; she has her own 
view of things ; she knows that to affect detachment 
in respect to matters so deeply related to the welfare 
of Church and State would not be what her ideal of 
perfection requires of her. 

Thus, in her letters to the Due de Genevois, 
in 1 80 1, we find Marie-Clotilde much preoccupied 
by the political changes brought about in Italy by 


the activity of Bonaparte. The French armies had 
occupied the duchy of Parma ; Tuscany had been 
taken from its Grand- Duke, and Prince Louis de 
Bourbon had been installed in his place, with the 
title of King of Etruria. She refers to him in a 
letter dated the 3rd of August, 1801 : 

"The King of Etruria, having cut a most 
humiliating figure in Paris, where he has not even 
been recognized as a King, has arrived in Turin in 
order to be there on the anniversary of the taking 
of the Bastille ; but as at that moment the French 
soldiers were killing their own officers because they 
wanted their pay, the King of Etruria has had no 
more desire to see the feast, and he complains that 
the members of the Piedmontese nobility have not 
been to call upon him. On his arrival at Parma, he 
requested his father, at the suggestion of Bonaparte, 
to arrange some festivities in his honour. General 
Murat has asked that a deputation from Florence 
should come to meet its new Sovereign, and one 
of those selected for this duty is our own Chevalier 
Venturi. All Tuscany is in a state of consterna- 
tion, and the Senate has declined to swear allegiance 
to the new King, saying that they cannot be made 
free of their oath to the Grand-Duke except by an 
order from himself. 


"At this moment it is said that Bonaparte will 
give back Tuscany to the Grand-Duke, and I 
believe it ; it would be in order to prevent the 
Emperor [of Austria] from allying himself to 
Russia. In that case, the King of Etruria would 
come to reign in Naples in virtue of a certain 
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. If this comes to pass, 
we shall certainly not remain here." 

Again, in October, she wrote : '* You will have 
heard that the King and Queen of Etruria have 
arrived, and are now installed at Florence. They 
are so little masters of themselves that, when 
walking in the Boboli Gardens, they are always 
accompanied by two dragoons ; the gardens are 
always closed to the public, and when they go to 
the Cassine, they have fifteen dragoons following 
them. The King wanted to forbid gambling, but 
the French General informed him that that was 
impossible ; everything else is about the same. 
Otherwise the new Sovereigns behave very well ; 
they show much affability, and great interest in 
religion. Still, it is better to be compelled by 
poverty to beg one's bread than to exercise a pre- 
tended sovereignty in such a condition of slavery."* 

* Louis of Parma died in the following year, and his widow, 
Marie-Louise-Josephine of Spain, after four years of nominal 



Then Marie- Clotilde writes to the Due de 
Genevois about matters which affected them still 
more closely. In March, 1801, the Czar, Paul I., 
had been assassinated. The event appeared most 
serious to Charles- Emmanuel, for the Czar had 
worked very earnestly for the King's restoration, 
and his death left the exiled Sovereign without his 
support in the negotiations for peace which were 
being initiated at that moment. 

It is true that shortly before his death Paul I. 
had changed his attitude, and inclined to a policy 
of conciliation towards Bonaparte. But most 
probably Charles - Emmanuel and his Ministers 
were unaware of this, and still believed that Russia 
was their chief support. The following passage 
in a letter of Marie-Clotilde would seem to imply 
that conclusion : " There is no certain news, but 
there is plenty of news. The Marquis de Saint- 
Marsan (representative of the King of Sardinia in 
Paris) has gone to Frankfort from Paris, because 
Bonaparte absolutely required that he should treat 
alone and directly with him. Now, the King 
[Charles- Emmanuel] has instructed him to remain 
always under the wing of the Russian Minister, as 

regency for her son, shared the fate of the other Spanish 


the Czar is good enough to watch over our affairs 
with a very constant interest. But Bonaparte, 
annoyed by the firmness of the King, and because 
he could not succeed in what he wanted, has so 
worked that Saint- Marsan has been obliged to leave 

This free, pleasant, almost chatty correspondence 
of Marie - Clotilde with her brother - in - law, the 
Due de Genevois, was not to continue without an 
unpleasant interruption, caused by a circumstance 
which gave her and the King great pain and 
anxiety. We have already noticed a certain amount 
of friction in connection with the wheat harvest in 
Sardinia in 1801. Such friction is inevitable when 
any constituted authority insists on entering into 
every detail of government in a distant country 
committed to the care of a Viceroy or Supreme 
Governor. In spite of the excellent and affectionate 
relations existing between the King and his brother, 
it was not likely that, given the slow and difficult 
means of communication between Italy and Sardinia, 
the King and those about him would be able 
always to form a correct judgment of all circum- 

The Due de Genevois, better situated and better 
informed, was bound to disagree from time to time 


with the instructions he received from Charles- 
Emmanuel. A serious difference of opinion on 
various political questions, which arose between the 
Due de G6nevois and the Comte de Chalembert, 
who was understood to enjoy the confidence of the 
King, brought matters suddenly to a crisis. The 
Due, it appears, actually tendered his resignation 
to the King, and declared his intention to give up 
the government of the island. From every point of 
view such a step would have been a calamity, both 
for the King, who had no one equally qualified to 
appoint to the post, and for Sardinia itself, where the 
Due de G^nevois was deservedly popular with all 

As usual, Marie- Clotilde had to come forward as 
a messenger of peace, to repair mistakes which she 
had been unable to prevent, or to guard, at any 
rate, against further misunderstandings. 

" My dearest Brother," she wrote at once to the 
Due de G^nevois, — " I have received almost at the 
same time two of your dear letters, one dated the 
26th of September, the other without date, but very 
probably written early in October. I cannot express 
to you, dear and very dear brother, how much they 
have filled me with sorrow, when I read the account 


of all your troubles, and especially the fatal resolution 
which those troubles have led you to take — a resolu- 
tion all the more painful for the King, since his 
chief desire has always been to please you. If 
some things have disagreeably affected you, this can 
only have been caused by a misunderstanding or 
some involuntary mistake. . . . You will see by 
the King's letter that he has given orders that 
everything is to go to you. . . . You see, my good 
brother, that I cannot possibly fulfil the mission 
which you wished to entrust to me ; it is certain 
that it would give the King the greatest possible 
sorrow, and also it would cause absolute consterna- 
tion in the kingdom [of Sardinia], where all are 
so deeply and so justly devoted to you. Moreover, 
dear brother, at this moment things are all in the 
air. For instance, the Congress of Amiens, accord- 
ing to all appearances, is going to settle our fate. 
Will it be good or bad ? I know not ; but it seems 
to me that such a determination [to give up the 
government of Sardinia], taken just before the 
Congress, might later on be regretted by your- 
self. Dear brother, forgive the frankness with 
which I speak to you ; you know me enough 
to be assured that my sole aim and intention is 
your good and that of the King, and that in all 



this I am only guided by my profound attachment 
to you." 

The Due de Gdnevois yielded to the tactful and 
affectionate representations of his sister-in-law, and 
consented to retain his post, as appears from 
the following passage in another letter of Marie- 
Clotilde s : 

'* We have been very long without any news ot 
you, and this has afflicted us more than I can say, 
dear brother, for you cannot know how much 
attached to you we both are ; and, as regards myself 
particularly, I thank you with my whole heart for 
the pleasure you have given the King in yielding to 
his affectionate desire that you should continue in 
Sardinia, where your presence is so necessary to 
that poor dear kingdom." 

While all these troubles and anxieties cast their 
shadows over the life of the good Queen during her 
stay at Naples, she still went on with her usual 
devotions and works of charity. Moreover, the 
sick members of her household whom she had left 
behind in Rome gradually rejoined her ; first came 
the Marquise de Saint-Georges, then Ignatius Lupi 
(her old servant), lastly Madame Badia. In this 
lady's own account of the Queen's solicitude towards 


her, we read how everything had been done, regard- 
less of cost, to render the journey from Rome to 
Naples easy and comfortable to her. At Naples 
she was allowed to go into the Queen's private 
oratory (a very great favour), and that even when 
the Queen herself was there at her own devotions, 
which was a still greater favour ; for Marie-Clotilde, 
we know, did not pray to be seen of men, and greatly 
disliked any singularity, so that, to be truly free in 
prayer, she sought solitude. That she could only 
secure by rising in the night, when she knew every- 
body was asleep. 

After a time, it appeared that Madame Badias 
health was not really satisfactory ; so the Queen 
arranged for her to go and try the baths at Ischia, 
and paid all expenses, which were somewhat con- 
siderable. The baths failed, and other expensive 
remedies had to be tried, with varying success. The 
true word about all this was uttered by a poor lay- 
Sister of the Minimes Convent at Rome, who had 
watched the Queen attending the sick, and seen 
how all their needs were fully attended to at her own 
expense. " She would not spend so much upon 
herself if she were sick," said the nun. 

Naples was just the place for Marie-Clotilde to 
indulge in her favourite search after remarkable 


types of spirituality. She had not been long there 
before she found out a small convent of Fran- 
ciscan Sisters, called " Capucinelle," where, under 
the direction of a holy man, Don Vincenzo de 
Majo, great religious regularity was said to be 

The convent was poor, it was not fashionable ; it 
therefore attracted her special interest, and she paid 
frequent visits to it. But her great discovery was 
that of a forlorn, infirm creature called Sister 
Magdalen ; her disease, her diseases, rather, were 
of the most inveterate and repellent nature, and 
such that people could hardly be found to attend 
to her and to keep her clean. She had been 
confined to her bed for the last fifty years. It 
is said that the poor woman had once been 
under the spiritual direction of St. Alphonsus 
Liguori, and had reached, by the path of suffering, 
to a high state of perfection. 

Marie-Clotilde, anxious to learn from all, especially 
from such cases, at once devoted herself to the service 
of Sister Magdalen. She visited her constantly, 
undertook the almost impossible task of cleani ig her 
body, destroying the vermin with which her sores 
were covered, and stooping in her charity to the 
lowest offices, supported, no doubt, by the words 


of the Master : •* Inasmuch as ye did it unto one 
of these My brethren, even these least, ye did 
it unto Me." 

Had Marie-Clotilde anything to learn from that 
poor suffering creature, in a spiritual sense ? Could the 
latter have taught her anything she had not already 
learnt through her own sad experience of life, not 
the less painful because it was learnt under the 
shadow of a throne ? At any rate, she may have 
learnt what so many of us have still to learn : that 
we are not sure of what we mean until we have 
dared to do, instead of merely praying vaguely that 
God's will may be done — until we have translated 
our religious aspirations into acts. 



We have arrived at a period in the life of Marie- 
Clotilde in which, to the many troubles and anxieties 
caused by political events, came to be added what 
to her must have been even more immediately painful. 
Domestic dissensions had not been unknown in the 
little Court of the exiled Sovereigns ever since the 
time of their departure from Turin, but the tact of 
the Queen and the good-nature of the King had so 
far been able to moderate the outward manifestation 
of ill-feeling around them. 

In all Courts, great or small, there are jealousies, 
disappointed ambitions, uncharitable criticisms, and 
plots by which malcontents seek to reach their ends. 
Gradually a party had been formed in opposition to 
the entourage known to be most sincerely devoted 
to the Sovereigns, and finally that party had 
concentrated its enmity upon a single person, 



who enjoyed in an eminent degree the confidence 
of the King, and, to a certain extent, of Marie- 
Clotilde also — namely, the doctor Pentene, their 
own physician. When they had been compelled 
to leave Turin in 1798, in the hurried manner 
which has been described in an early chapter, 
not one among the physicians-in-ordinary of the 
Court had been able or willing to accompany the 
Sovereigns in their exile. Something had to be 
done at once. The Bailli of St. Germain asked 
a young army surgeon, named Felix Pentene, 
whom he happened to know, whether he would 
accompany the Royal Family as far as Parma. 
Once there, he thought, some other solution of 
the difficulty might be found. 

Pentene accepted the proposal without hesitation, 
and he gave so much satisfaction to the King 
during the painful journey, that, at Parma, there 
was no longer any idea of replacing him. He 
therefore continued to act as the King's personal 
medical attendant, and gradually obtained his entire 
confidence. His influence grew apace, and in 
course of time he became a favourite whose advice 
was by no means limited to questions of health. 

Pentene married Charlotte Badaglio, the daughter 
of the King's old valet de chambrey and this union 


strengthened his position very considerably. The 
King, as we know, was weak of character ; his 
physical condition required constant attention, and 
no doubt Pentene saw in this his opportunity of 
securing the confidence of the royal patient for his own 
advantage, and made the most of it. Marie-Clotilde, 
it is clear, was not influenced to the same degree. 
But her one thought was the welfare of her husband, 
and Pentene appeared to be indispensable to him. 

Moreover, she was always inclined to take a 
charitable view of everybody ; she was fond of 
Dr. Pentene's wife, and had consented to be god- 
mother to her little girl. Nevertheless, it is known 
from the King himself, from Madame Badia, and 
others, that she tried in a quiet way to confine 
Dr. Pentene's influence to strictly medical matters ; 
this must be true, for after her death his influence 
became almost unlimited. He managed, through 
the King's kindness, no doubt, to obtain the title of 
Count Palatine, and altogether behaved in such a 
way that even those members of the little Court 
who had openly accused Marie-Clotilde of too much 
weakness in supporting Pentene, came to recognize 
that, far from being deserving of blame, she had, on 
the contrary, been the first to suffer from a situation 
which she could not modify. 


But, during the time of the Royal Family's 
residence at Naples, with which we are now con- 
cerned, the party of opposition took a very differ- 
ent view of her attitude. They accused her of a 
share of responsibility in all the bad things with 
which their hatred and jealousy charged the doctor. 
For instance, when Princess Felicita died, the 
members of her household had been admitted into 
that of the King and Queen ; but many of them 
thought that they had not been given the privileges 
and advantages to which they considered them- 
selves entitled. They at once assumed that it was 
Dr. Pentene's fault, and that the Queen had unjustly 
listened to him. 

Then the time came when the state of the 
royal finances rendered certain economies absolutely 
imperative ; this could not be done without con- 
siderable reductions in the emoluments of many 
of those followers who were maintained by the 
King about his person, not because they were 
required, but because it was morally impossible to 
dismiss altogether people who had shared his exile 
and his misfortunes. Again Pentene was accused 
of partiality, and the Queen of weakness, for allow- 
ing the King to listen to him. 

It is possible that some measures may have been 


adopted which bore an appearance of injustice. 
Penten^ may certainly have favoured some whom 
he considered friendly to himself more than others 
whom he knew to be his enemies. There is nothing 
to lead us to imagine that Penten^ stood superior to 
those feelings which the world indulgently describes 
as "human nature." Of course he professed great 
piety, and this would predispose the Queen in his 
favour ; but the opposition party asserted that he 
was nothing but a religious hypocrite. They also 
called him a traitor to the royal cause ; but she did 
not believe that. 

Here, then, we have a situation certainly not with- 
out example in the life of Courts, but it was made more 
serious and painful by the difficulties of exile. Men 
who might have been expected to support the King 
and Queen with sincere zeal did not hesitate to side 
with the enemies of their physician. The Bailli 
of St. Germain himself was said to have felt keenly 
the manner in which Dr. Pentene had gradually 
come between him and the King. The Abb6 Botta 
seemed to incline towards the opposition party ; the 
Abb6 Traves, the King's representative in Rome, 
did the same ; the Comte de Chalembert, who was 
partly responsible for the grave crisis in Sardinia, 
mentioned in the last chapter, declared almost 


openly that the Sovereigns ought to be less 
absorbed in devotion, and more occupied with 
politics. Among the ladies, Countess Tornenga, 
and even Mademoiselle Stuper, in spite of all she 
owed to the Queen, sided with the opposition. 

There were, however, others who were inclined 
to defend Pentene, or at least to remain neutral in 
the quarrel — Madame Badia, for instance. But, in 
her case, her attitude was entirely governed by her 
devotion to the Queen. Some of the spiritua 
advisers of Marie-Clotilde, such as the Abbe Tempia 
and the Abbe Marconi, seem certainly to have taken 
a better view of Pentene's conduct. When his 
enemies went so far as to accuse him of murder, her 
advisers may well have felt that it was not safe 
to believe such charges without full evidence. 

Marie-Clotilde took active steps to investigate the 
facts in connection with that terrible accusation, and 
she remained persuaded that it was entirely devoid 
of foundation. She then thought it her duty to 
defend the accused, and she sometimes did so with 
a zeal which did honour to her sense of justice, 
but which may have been very differently interpreted 
by the opposition party. 

And yet, in a letter to a nun (Sister Agnes of 
the Incarnation), after speaking of her anxiety to 


protect Pentene, who, she affirms, was persecuted 
by jealous and wicked people, she ends by saying : 
" May they not go so far as to ruin that poor man, 
for I dread as much the vivacity, even the violence, 
of his character, as I dread the wickedness of the 

It seems difficult to resist the conclusion that 
Marie- Clotilde was divided between her desire not 
to differ from her husband, not to act or even think 
uncharitably, not to yield to malicious intrigues, and 
her own instinct that there was something about the 
man which she would have wished to be different. 
But her religious sense of the duty of charity was 
such that she could not bear even to formulate to 
herself what she felt. 

Yet, perhaps to please the King, she went so 
far as to write to the Due de G6nevois that a 
brother of Madame Arnaud - Manfredi, a great 
enemy of Penten^, was a Jacobin who had followed 
the French army into Italy, and warned him to be 
careful, as she had heard that that man had been 
recommended to him. At the same time she warmly 
commended to the Prince another soldier, a brother 
of Dr. Pentene, and begged that he might be given 
a commission as Lieutenant in the Sardinian army, 
adding : *' I am greatly interested in this, because 


the more his brother is calumniated, the more am I 
obliged to support him, as I have certain proof of his 
devotion to the royal cause, and of his fidelity and 
attachment to the King." 

As a net result of all this, the vague insinua- 
tions against Marie-Clotilde gradually assumed a 
more painful shape. Some of those people who 
considered themselves unfairly treated by Pentene 
ended by saying that the Queen was not so holy 
a person as she was reported to be. Benedict Rull, 
who from the post of Intendant had been reduced, 
for reasons of economy, to that of Mattre d'H6tel, 
actually told Countess Tornenga, when Marie- 
Clotilde died, that now they could rejoice, because 
they at last were free from the domination of certain 
people. And another member of the household, 
Joseph Berra, dared to tell Madame Badia that the 
Queen had done well to die ; for had she lived much 
longer, her reputation of sanctity would have vanished 

When the examination began before the Roman 
Ecclesiastical Commission appointed to deal with 
the question of her beatification, Benedict Rull 
said openly that they had better not call him 
as a witness, as he might have much to say 
against her sanctity, particularly in connection 



with her bad temper. He was alluding to the 
following circumstance : When Princess Felicita 
was seriously ill at Naples in March, 1801, she had 
asked that the physician of the Due d'Aosta might 
be called in consultation with Dr. Pentene, who was 
attending her. It would seem that, in connection 
with this, remarks not altogether complimentary on 
Dr. Pentene's talents as a medical man had been 
made, and that later on, while a very large fee had 
been sent to the Due d'Aosta's physician, only a 
very moderate one had been given to Dr. Pentene. 
Benedict Rull, who was entrusted with these pay- 
ments, had shown the accounts to Marie-Clotilde, 
who, in an angry tone, it was said, had re- 
marked that Pentene, as a physician, deserved more 
confidence than the other man, who was more 
particularly known as a surgeon. Such was the 
manifestation of animosity which Rull considered as 
likely to compromise her cause before the Roman 

More serious was a remark of the Abbe Botta, 
who, while fully persuaded of the high sanctity of 
the Queen, had nevertheless said that he doubted 
whether the process of her beatification could be 
carried to a successful issue. But when examined 
before the Congregation, he clearly stated that his 


meaning was that her attitude had been due to the 
peculiar mentality of her husband, and her fear to 
provoke his irritability by contradicting him. He 
entered into details about this question, on which he 
had such special information, having been their 
spiritual adviser, and he ended with these words : 
'• I judge that what has been for the Queen a 
greater source of merit, and an occasion for the 
highest virtue, is precisely the thing which in 
certain people has affected the opinion they had of 
her. . . . But at the same time, considering the 
appearance of things, I have thought that it might 
be difficult to justify the Queen sufficiently in respect 
to the defects imputed to her, for the reasons 
which I have given. Hence my belief that it 
might be rather difficult to guide the cause [of her 
beatification] to a successful issue." 

It is always difficult to pronounce judgment on 
the intimate feelings of a soul. All that might be 
said in this case is, either that she was as much 
deceived as the King seems to have been about the 
merits of Dr. Pentene, or else that she acted as if 
she was deceived, partly out of charity and partly 
out of consideration for the feelings of the King. 
In either case, one does not see how she could be 
seriously blamed. That she may have felt some 


annoyance, or even ill-humour, when she was obliged 
to deal with such a matter, whatever her views may 
have been, is very probable. We seldom like to be 
brought face to face with painful or perplexing 
questions, and it would only show that her perfection 
was not that of a statue, but that of a living woman. 

While we are engaged upon this unpleasant sub- 
ject, we may perhaps refer to one or two other 
points relative to her sanctity which were discussed 
during the process of her beatification. 

For instance, when the usual gentleness of her 
behaviour with people of all conditions was being 
discussed, the fact was mentioned that, on a particular 
occasion, one of the men in her service, a certain 
Rachetti, had died of grief in consequence of a severe 
reprimand inflicted on him by Marie-Clotilde. It 
turned out, however, that the man's death was due 
to a very different cause, and that, moreover, he had 
fully deserved the reproaches in question. 

Marie-Clotilde was also reported to have once 
spoken to her father-in-law. King Victor- A madeus, 
in a way which had deeply pained him. But on 
inquiry it appeared that she had merely communi- 
cated to the King an opinion expressed by her 
husband, Charles- Emmanuel, on a matter of great 
political importance, at the time when the kingdom 


was threatened by the revolutionary movement in 
France. Given the character of Marie-Clotilde, we 
may well assume that she would not have spoken 
had she not felt that so grave a situation imperiously 
required it. 

Again, in the course of the same ecclesiastical 
trial it was said that once, in conversation with 
Comte de Chalembert, the Queen had spoken of 
one of the ladies of the Court as a " pettegola."* 
Was this consistent with the reputation of sanctity 
she had enjoyed in her lifetime ? The judges, having 
satisfied themselves that the epithet had been applied 
on that occasion to one who had richly deserved it 
by her conduct, decided that the case did not affect 
unfavourably the reputation of Marie-Clotilde. We 
can safely accept their verdict, while perhaps wonder- 
ing that nothing worse could be brought forward 
against that holy woman by the people who so sadly 
embittered, by their jealousy and malice, her last 
days on this earth. 

* A silly or foolish woman. 




On more than one occasion we have had to notice 
the courage, and also, we might almost say, the con- 
tempt, with which the good Queen dealt with her 
bodily weakness under all circumstances. Her 
health had never been robust, and the severe 
asceticism to which she was led by her religious 
earnestness had weakened it further still. She 
would not pay attention to those warnings which 
Nature, through discomfort and pain, is giving us 
when external circumstances or internal organic 
disorders threaten us with untoward consequences. 
She had never completely recovered from the grave 
illness brought about by the hardships of the journey 
at the time of the Royal Family's departure from 

Then, her neglect of herself was largely due to her 
anxiety to spare her husband any trouble or apprehen- 
sion. She knew how nervous and sensitive he was, 



and she therefore hid from him, as much as possible, 
her own sufferings. Later on this became more and 
more difficult. The King gently reproached her 
for thus neglecting her health, and she promised to 
pay more attention to it in future. Unfortunately, 
this came too late. Already her usual ailments had 
been complicated by repeated attacks of gout ; but 
this had never stopped her long vigils, her prolonged 
visits to churches and sick persons, and her devotions 
far into the night, when she knew that everybody 
was asleep in the house. 

The first really serious warning of approaching 
danger came to her on the 25th of February, 1802. 
She had gone to Holy Communion in the Church 
of Santa Catarina a Chiaia, belonging to a religious 
community for which, during her residence at 
Naples, she had formed a very particular affection. 
Then, after visiting several churches in the neigh- 
bourhood, she had made a long stay in the chapel 
of the Congregation of the Oratory, where special 
devotions were being held. She returned home some- 
what late, and apparently very happy with her day, 
so entirely given to religious exercises. But on the 
following morning it was noticed that she looked 
very tired. Still, Marie - Clotilde and the King 
went on a sort of pilgrimage to Pozzuoli, to visit 


some famous relics there in the Cathedral ; but 
she had to admit, on their return, that she felt 
quite exhausted. On Sunday the weakness con- 
tinued, and it was remarked that she sat instead 
of kneeling after her Communion, a thing she 
never did. 

On Monday she went about as usual, although 
with obvious effort. She insisted on going to 
the Monastery of the Theatines, founded by a 
saintly woman, Ursula Benincasa, for whom she 
had a very special veneration. To get there Marie- 
Clotilde had to walk up a steep road, and this proved 
too much for her. Yet, nothing daunted, she went 
on the same afternoon to the Gesii Nuovo with 
her husband. No doubt she committed that im- 
prudence from fear of disquieting the King, who 
would have suspected something wrong with her 
health if she had not accompanied him. But as 
soon as she arrived home she sent for her confessor, 
Father Mariano Postiglioni, and admitted to him 
that she was quite exhausted ; however, she would 
not go to bed, for the sake of the King, and begged 
Father Postiglioni to pray that she might hold out 
until ten o'clock, her usual hour for retiring. 

In this she was successful, but during the night her 
breathing became so difficult that the King, who 


slept in the same room, could not help noticing it. 
He rose at once and sent for Dr. Pentene, who at 
first could not find any very definite symptoms 
besides some fever, a violent headache, and general 

Of course she was kept in bed, and from that 
moment never left it. Thus two days passed, with 
no change in her condition except a great increase 
of her headache. She could get no rest, and it 
seemed to her as if a crown of thorns was being 
violently forced down upon her head. To a devout 
mind like hers, such a symptom could not fail to 
suggest a sacred parallel which made her almost 
love the pain itself. She mentioned it to the doctor 
with a kind of smile which he noticed. Even then, 
suffering as she did, her thought was of her husband. 
While he was called away from her room by some 
business, she hastened to have his bed removed to 
another room next to hers, so that he might sleep 
more quietly. In this, however, she failed, for 
Charles-Emmanuel, in his anxiety, rose continually 
in the course of the night to see how she was and 
whether she needed anything. 

Another of her preoccupations was the fear of 
giving trouble to the people about her, or of 
showing signs of impatience when they served her. 


She continually asked their forgiveness for any 
trouble she might give them. Then long periods of 
delirium set in, during which she fancied, among 
other things, that the Royal Family was being driven 
from Naples. She implored that she might be left 
behind, so as not to impede their flight ; then con- 
sciousness would return, and she would say in a 
piteous tone : " Forgive me — do not mind what I 
say. It is my head." 

Once, Father Postiglioni was with her, and she 
made a sign that she wished her head to be 
raised upon the pillow. But instantly the thought 
occurred to her that to seek such relief was not in 
the proper spirit, and she told the Father, who 
afterwards mentioned her words : " I am glad that 
you are here, and have seen how little I love to 
suffer. My Saviour died upon a wooden cross, and 
had no rest for His Divine head, and I cannot bear 
even a slight discomfort ; I must seek for relief at 
once ! See my imperfection, and learn by experience 
what I am worth." 

Such words make us realize how effectually pride, 
sensuousness, and self-will, had been vanquished in 
that soul, if they ever had any serious foothold in it. 

Meanwhile, Marie-Clotilde was getting obviously 
weaker, and she prepared for death with the assist- 


ance of Father Postiglioni. Her one thought was 
to get the King to be resigned to her death. She 
sent her confessor to him to ask if he would not 
make in his heart the sacrifice of her life to God, 
although there was every reason to believe that she 
was not going to be taken from him. But Charles- 
Emmanuel, in spite of his weak character and poor 
physical condition, was not blind to this last solicitude 
of his wife. Indeed, one of the best things to be said 
about him is that her extreme, almost exaggerated, 
care of him had not succeeded in making him selfish, 
as such care often does in men of his type. 

" Go to my wife, I pray you," he said ; " and if she 
has finished her confession, tell her from me that my 
sacrifice is made concerning her, and that I am 
resigned and at peace." Father Postiglioni showed 
some hesitation to convey that message to the 
Queen. He perhaps feared that she might mis- 
understand it, but Charles-Emmanuel added : " I 
know what my wife is ; go, and you will see the 
effect of my words upon her." 

The result was as the King had anticipated. 
Hardly had the priest delivered his message that 
Marie-Clotilde's face became radiant with happiness. 
"Now I am in peace," she said; "now I can die 
happy." Then, with singular energy, striking her 


hands and raising her eyes, she exclaimed: "To 
heaven ! to heaven ! What peace and happiness ! 
I have now only to think of Paradise." 

Her chief earthly anxiety had been removed. She 
could not bear to die with the thought that her 
husband might not be entirely resigned to the will 
of God in her regard. Now she could sing her 
Nunc Dimittis. From that moment she spoke of 
her death as a near and joyful event, to the surprise 
of all, for they had no idea of anything so sudden. 

Dr. Pentene, who seems to have had until that 
moment no definite idea of the nature of the case, 
came at last to the conclusion that it might be a 
case of typhoid fever. Dr. Cotugno, a celebrated 
Neapolitan physician, was called in consultation, 
but did not express, apparently, a very positive 
opinion. Other medical men of repute were 
also called, without further result. 

The case was obscure, and the physicians probably 
manifested a desire for more information upon its 
earlier stages. Then Marie-Clotilde, in presence 
of them all and of the members of her house- 
hold, made this declaration : " I acknowledge 
myself guilty of having during the first four days 
hidden from my husband and from my physician 
the principal symptoms of my illness, hoping 


that, as so often before, all would turn out 
well ; but now, being anxious to show perfect 
obedience, I will state all I have suffered during 
the first days of this illness." Then, with a clear- 
ness of mind which astonished all present, she began 
to relate her symptoms, particularly the terrible 
headache, which she described to be as if nails were 
being driven all round into her head. Dr. Cotugno 
remarked that she calmly spoke as if she had been 
describing the case of another person. He was 
evidently much impressed with the gravity of the 
situation now that he was able to understand it better, 
and he advised her confessor to make arrangements 
for her reception of the last sacraments of the Church. 

The day passed quietly, her only thought being 
to prepare herself duly for those sacraments. She 
hardly spoke of anything else, and the scene was so 
affecting that sometimes the King, unable to contain 
his tears, was obliged to leave her room for a moment. 

On the following morning, kneeling by her bed- 
side, Charles- Emmanuel received with her the Holy 
Communion, and said the prayers of thanksgiving 
with her also. She could hardly speak, but with 
clasped hands and uplifted eyes she was evidently 
joining in the prayers, with an expression of 
profound peace upon her face. 


As it was Sunday, the King, no doubt at her 
earnest desire, left her and went to church. She 
also told one of her old servants, Domenico Drago- 
nero, that he might go to Mass, adding with great 
feeling : " Go ; I shall not call you any more." 
And, indeed, he was never to hear her voice again. 

On his return, the King immediately went up to 
Marie-Clotilde's room to see how she was. She 
gave him an affectionate sign of recognition, but 
was apparently unable to speak. With great anxiety, 
Charles-Emmanuel fetched some medicine, which had 
probably been prescribed by the doctors, and it had 
the effect of restoring the use of her voice for a 
moment. She took his hand in hers, and distinctly 
said to him : " You have called me ' Mamma.' Yes, 
I will always be that for you ; and where I go, I 
desire that you may also come and be with me." 

These seem to have been her last words, for after- 
wards she only answered questions by faint signs. 
The King, believing her a little stronger, went to 
get some food ; but before he had finished his meal, 
the nurse, noticing a considerable change on the 
patient's face, went to fetch him. On entering the 
room, he saw that she was indeed much worse, for she 
could not articulate a word in answer to his questions. 

In great haste Dr. Cotugno was sent for, and he 

THE END 223 

advised the King to have the sacrament of Extreme 
Unction administered to Marie - Clotilde if she 
wished it. On this she gave evident signs of her 
desire to receive the last rite of the Church, and 
Father Tempia was at once called in. But 
the poor man was in such a state of emotion 
and grief that he felt too unnerved to render that 
last office, and Father Mariano Postiglioni had to be 
requested to take his place. 

While Extreme Unction was being administered, 
Marie-Clotilde, although unable to speak, showed 
by the motion of her lips that she was following 
clearly and intelligently every word of the service, 
especially at the end, when the prayers for the 
commendation of the departing soul were being said. 
She remained calm and peaceful for a few moments ; 
then, closing her eyes and crossing her hands upon 
her breast, she inclined her head to one side, as if 
she would go to sleep. Those present thought that 
her agony was about to begin. But she had no 
agony. At the moment when she seemed to be 
going to sleep, she had passed away, apparently 
free from any pain, and in perfect peace. What had 
so often been denied her in life was granted to her 
at the last hour ; she had found the rest which 
" remaineth " for the people of God. 



King Charles- Emmanuel was not actually present 
when his wife died ; he had gone to his room after 
the administration of Extreme Unction. When he 
returned, Dr. Cotugno said to him : " Your Majesty 
must not enter now, but you have the consolation to 
know that you have a protectress in heaven." 

With more energy and presence of mind than 
might, perhaps, have been expected of the poor King 
in the state of prostration caused by his saintly wife's 
death, he at once gave directions according to the 
wishes expressed to him by her during her last 
illness. Following a custom of the House of Savoy, 
he ordered that the body should be left untouched 
on the bed during that day, until the next morning. 
He also settled that there was to be neither post- 
mortem examination nor embalming, and that no 
such military honours as are usual in the case of 
Sovereigns were to be rendered at the funeral. 



The first order was in conformity with a desire of 
Marie-Clotilde, who had particularly requested that 
no one, except two women whom she named, should 
be allowed to touch her body after her death. The 
second order was in full accordance with her spirit 
of simplicity and humility. " My wife has lived 
like a Religious," said Charles- Emmanuel ; " like a 
Religious let her be buried." Thus, instead of her 
body being clothed in royal robes, she was dressed 
for burial in those simple woollen garments which, 
during her life, she had preferred to wear. 

While Mademoiselle Stuper and a widow named 
Teresa Ratti were engaged upon those last offices, a 
singular thing occurred, about which both ladies 
testified on oath before the Congregation entrusted 
with the process of the Queen's beatification. 

Marie-Clotilde wore two rings — her wedding ring, 
and another which she had always used from the day 
when she became Queen. Teresa Ratti was told to 
remove those rings, but the fingers of the deceased 
had become so hard and distorted that she was unable 
to remove the rings, in spite of all her efforts. At last, 
not knowing what to do, a strange idea occurred to 
her. Looking at the body, she said with reverence, 
but also with intense earnestness : " Marie-Clotilde, 
during your life you were always so obedient ; now, 



even after your death, be obedient still, so that I may 
remove these rings." Hardly had she finished 
speaking, when, as she stated, the fingers became 
straight and flexible, so that the rings came off quite 
easily. Mademoiselle Stuper, who was present, 
confirmed this statement. This is but the first of. 
the many wonderful things said to have taken place 
after Marie-Clotilde's death, and brought forward for 
her beatification. 

Her simple room had been transformed into a 
chapel by the erection of a plain altar, at which many 
Masses were said during the three days which 
followed, and the public was admitted to see the dead 
Queen. An immense crowd passed through the room 
from morning till night, and there was considerable 
difficulty in regulating the movements of those 
masses of people, attracted by their belief in the 
sanctity of Marie-Clotilde, whose beautiful life and 
abundant charities had created a deep impression in 

The usual thirst for relics grew stronger and 
stronger every hour. One of the Queen's gowns 
was torn to pieces, and people struggled to obtain 
even the smallest bit of it. Religious communities 
asked, as a great favour, to be given some object 
which had belonged to her and one convent in 


particular was considered highly fortunate in having 
obtained a whole sleeve from one of her dresses. 

At last, on the fourth day, the burial took place. 
By the special desire of Marie- Clotilde, her body 
was to find its resting-place in the Church of Santa 
Catarina a Chiaia, a small and quiet church in 
which, during her stay at Naples, she had spent 
many hours in prayer. She loved such plain, un- 
important churches, and she had also conceived 
special affection and respect for the Sisters of Santa 
Catarina. The funeral procession was striking in 
its simplicity — ^just a carriage bearing the coffin, 
followed by the members of the royal household. 
But the immense crowds which filled the streets, 
and for a time entirely stopped all traffic, gave to the 
occasion the character of a national mourning. 

There were no soldiers, as Charles-Emmanuel, 
in conformity with his wife's wishes, had pre- 
scribed. Of course, the Neapolitan Government 
was anxious to do honour to the deceased Queen, 
in spite of the King's orders, but the Ministers 
hardly dared to act without ascertaining the views 
of the representative of France in Naples. Alquier, 
who occupied that position, was therefore consulted, 
and, to the surprise of many people, far from object- 
ing to an act of public homage by the Government, 


he openly declared that " that woman was deserving 
of every respect for the noble firmness with which 
she had borne her misfortunes." Alquier, it must 
be remembered, had voted the death of her brother, 
Louis XVI., as a Member of the Convention in 
1793. It is true that he had voted for the King's 
death avec sursts, hoping, perhaps, that a delay 
might afford some means of avoiding the dreadful 

Still, his decision was somewhat unexpected, and 
produced a great impression in his favour among all 
classes of the Neapolitan people. Alquier may have 
foreseen that, for he was not without some merit as 
a diplomatist ; but it is also probable that he was 
correctly interpreting the intentions of Bonaparte. 
Alquier, like so many of his former Republican 
colleagues, had altered his views and his attitude 
since the days of the Terror, in conformity with the 
policy of social reconstruction dictated by the new 
ruler of France. However, Charles-Emmanuel, 
faithful to the wishes of his wife, and not forgetful 
of what he owed to himself, refused with dignity the 
politic concession of Bonaparte's representative, and 
thus no military escort followed the remains of the 
sister of Louis XVI. to their final resting-place. 

With difficulty the funeral procession made its 


way through the surging crowds, and at last reached 
the church. 

There, in a chapel dedicated to the " Mother of the 
Good Shepherd," the coffin was deposited, and in 
due course a simple monument was erected over 
Marie-Clotilde's tomb, which bears this inscription : 

D. O. M. 

Maria Clotilda Adelaida Xaviera Borbonia 
Sardinise regina 

Cujus sanctissima pietas 

Ingenii dexteritas consilii probitas 

Morum suavitas 

Ultra votum steterunt 

Aliorum amantior quam sui 

Emensis utriusque fortunae spatiis 

Adveniente fato 

Inimitabili animi robore 

Obviam processit. 

Regno Italisque oris 

Christianarum virtutum specimen 

Extera etiam admiratione praebens 

Praepropero morbo rapta 

Suis omnibus examinatis 

-Sternum victura placidissime obiit 

Neapoli nonis Martii anno ciddcccii 

JEtSLtis suae xlii mensibus v diebus xii. 

Rex Karolus Emanuel IV. 

Piissimus conjux 

Luctu concisus 

Dimidio sui curarum levamine orbatus 

Ad uxorias cineres hie quiescentes 

M. P. 





Queen of Sardinia. 
Her eminent piety, her quick intelligence, the wisdom of her 
counsels, the suavity of her character, surpassed all that could be 
desired ; she loved others more than herself. After she had been 
exposed to all the vicissitudes of human destiny, seeing death 
approach, she exhibited an inimitable strength of soul. To her 
kingdom and to all Italy she gave the example of Christian 
virtues in a degree worthy of all admiration. Taken from her 
sorrowful family by a rapid illness, she died peacefully, to live 
eternally, at Naples, on March 7, 1802, aged forty-two years, 
five months, and twelve days. 

King Charles-Emmanuel IV., 

her most devoted husband, 

Prostrated by sorrow, 

Deprived of her who shared with him and alleviated all his cares, 

To the ashes of his spouse resting here 

has raised this monument. 

Before that tomb the poor, broken, disconsolate 
husband of Marie-Clotilde was constantly seen in 
prayer as long as he remained in Naples. He 
came, at least on one occasion, accompanied by the 
Queen of Naples, Marie-Caroline, a sister of the 
unfortunate Queen Marie- Antoinette. 

At first he had been persuaded to retire to Caserta, 
and he went there, accompanied by Dr. Pentene, 
Father Tempia, and some members of his house- 
hold ; but in the course of the month of April he 


came back to Naples, to be nearer to the tomb of 
his saintly consort. We cannot give all the touch- 
ing letters which he wrote at that period, but some 
extracts from one or two of those written to his 
brothers will convey some idea of his sorrow and of 
his admiration for the character of Marie-Clotilde. 

He wrote on the 19th of March to the Due de 
Genevois : 

" My dear Brother, 

"It has pleased the Sovereign Master, who 
is ever just and loving, however severe He may 
sometimes appear to be, to require of me the 
treasure He had only lent to me. Yes, dear 
brother, I have lost on March 7 the dearest thing 
I had in this world, within a few days, of typhoid 
fever. She died as she had lived. I had the con- 
solation of assisting her to the end. I wiped her 
hands and feet, and kissed them, after she had re- 
ceived Extreme Unction. She died, like our Lord, 
bowing down her head, without any agony, leaving 
me such examples, and also such grief, as shall last as 
long as my own life. This letter will serve for our 
brother and all our friends. Good-bye, dear brother. 
May the God of all mercy send you as much happi- 
ness as I have sorrow ! Pray for me. 

*• C. Emmanuel, widower." 


On the 3rd of April he wrote from Caserta to the 
Comte de Maurienne : 

" I have received, dear brother, your two letters 
— one, that is, for my adorable wife, who is no more 
— and I must now answer you as well as I can, plunged 
as I am at present into affliction and difficulties of 
all sorts. I am delighted to hear that your health is 
re-established. Take great care of yourself, for it 
is a terrible thing to lose those who are dear to us. 
My sorrow, which has been all the time concentrated 
within me, is as on the first day — there is no mitiga- 
tion of it. The only thing which moderates it is the 
thought that she will now be safe beyond the reach 
of future misfortunes. God be praised in all things!" 

Such were the feelings of Charles- Emmanuel ; 
such was his sense of loss, and that sense was re- 
flected in a state of helplessness, of mental incapacity, 
of physical debility, which seemed to indicate that 
the separation he so keenly felt would not last very 
long. Very soon his health became seriously affected ; 
his sight failed him, until he became almost blind ; 
those nervous attacks which had been so often a 
cause of trouble and anxiety to Marie-Clotilde be- 
came more frequent and more intense. 

At last, worn down by his infirmities and by his 
sense of impotence to deal with the duties of his 


position, the poor King resolved to abdicate. This 
grave determination was not reached, as we may 
imagine, without much hesitation, and also without 
much opposition on the part of many around him, 
whose position would become considerably diminished 
by his abdication. We are told that his spiritual 
directors, in particular, were much opposed to his 
abdication, and, of course, they could not have been 
influenced by such motives. But, on the other 
hand, we do not know whether certain persons 
may not have been able indirectly to influence his 
spiritual directors. 

In spite of all opposition, the King felt every day 
more strongly urged to take the step. At last, in 
his perplexity, he turned to his usual remedy : he 
visited the tomb of his wife, and he afterwards told 
Sister Agnes, one of her intimate friends, how he 
was relieved of his perplexity by that visit. He 
prayed earnestly that Marie-Clotilde would obtain 
for him the needed light, and that, if it was God's 
will, the views of his spiritual counsellors might be 
altered. Having thus prayed, he went home, and 
when, soon afterwards, he had an interview with 
his advisers, he found that their minds on the subject 
of his abdication had undergone a complete change. 
Something must certainly have happened, for he 


who had such difficulty at all times in coming to 
a decision, at once, without any further hesitation, 
proceeded to accomplish his great act of renuncia- 
tion. It took place on the 4th of July, 1802. His 
brother, the Due d'Aosta, assumed the crown as 
Victor- Emmanuel I. 

Then, in October, the Comte de Maurienne died, 
adding another cause of sincere sorrow to the over- 
flowing cup of sadness ; the Due de G^nevois, him- 
self most deeply affected by that unexpected loss, 
came over from Sardinia to see Charles- Emmanuel. 
This meeting took place in Rome, where the King 
had settled ; for now that he had abdicated, he was 
able to satisfy his desire to reside in the Eternal 
City, without raising any opposition on the part of 
the French Government. At last, on the 6th of 
October, 1819, Charles- Emmanuel died, and was 
buried in the Jesuit church on the Quirinal. Thus 
ended a long pilgrimage and a painful exile. But he 
counted himself happy that he had been privileged 
to suffer by the side of a saint. 


THE "venerable" MARIE-CLOTILDE. 

Gharles-Emmanuel was so convinced of the eminent 
sanctity of his wife that he considered it his duty to 
make every effort in order to obtain the official recog- 
nition by the Church of Marie-Clotilde's place among 
the canonized saints. Already in July, 1803, he had 
obtained a decision authorizing the usual inquiries to 
that effect. Witnesses were heard before the Com- 
mission appointed for the purpose, and among them 
appeared Father Tempia, Father Botta, Father 
Postiglioni, Madame Badia, Dr. Pentene and his 
father-in-law, Badoglio, and many others, and later 
on the King himself. A special dispensation was 
granted, shortening the long delays usually pre- 
scribed in such matters by the Roman Church ; and 
at last, on a report presented to the Congregation of 
Rites by Cardinal Mattel, on the 9th of April, 1808, 
a solemn decree was issued which conferred upon 
Marie-Clotilde the title of " Venerable." 



After that time, other witnesses were examined at 
Rome and at Turin, and the cause of Marie- Clotilde's 
beatification proceeded in the usual way until the 
year 1845, when, owing possibly to political circum- 
stances, the matter came to a standstill, although the 
secretary of the Congregation of Rites did not 
hesitate to say that the cause of the Queen of 
Sardinia was one of the most beautiful before the 
Roman Court at that period. 

Any delays are no doubt disappointing for those 
who feel convinced of the claims of Marie-Clotilde's 
life to a full recognition of its eminent sanctity, but 
they may find consolation in the thought that such 
delays do not necessarily imply disbelief in the 
validity of those claims. Joan of Arc has had to wait 
several centuries for a similar recognition. Anyhow, 
the title of " Venerable," which the formal introduc- 
tion of the cause conferred upon Marie-Clotilde, is 
already a sufficient proof that the Church of which 
she was so faithful a member had gladly recognized 
the beauty of her character and the supreme degree 
of her virtues. 

We cannot enter into the long details of the 
official examination of her cause, but it is interesting 
to notice the special characteristics of the miracles 
attributed to " the venerable servant of God " in the 


course of that examination. Practically all those 
miracles have reference to the healing of diseases 
and the relief of bodily suffering. Sick people who 
had known the Queen, and others who had only 
heard of her, but had conceived a strong confidence 
in the power of her intercession with God, invoked 
her assistance in their extremity, and were, it is 
said, sometimes immediately, sometimes gradually, 
delivered of their infirmities. In a few cases the 
saint appeared to them, as she is reported to have 
done in the case of Carlotta Badoglio, the wife of 
Dr. Pentene, whom Marie-Clotilde had known from 
her childhood, and in whom she had always taken 
an affectionate interest. 

Being in great danger from a fever which all 
remedies seemed unable to cure, Madame Pentene, 
one night, feeling herself much worse, took a belt 
which had belonged to her late mistress, and tied 
it round her head. Soon afterwards she fell into a 
deep and refreshing sleep, in which she thought she 
saw Marie-Clotilde standing beside her, and assuring 
her that she would recover. Madame Pentene slept 
on heavily for many hours, and when at last she 
woke up she found herself quite well, and from that 
moment, as she testified, she continued to enjoy 
excellent health. 


There is also the case of a nun of the Convent 
of Santa Chiara at Assisi, Sister Maria- Nazarena 
Alessi, who in 1795 had been operated upon for 
a cancerous tumour in the breast. After a time, 
another operation became necessary, but the Sister 
could not make up her mind to it, although she was 
told that any delay might seriously endanger her life. 
It then happened, in August, 1806, that a Franciscan 
Father, named Luigi Pistelli, came to Assisi, and while 
visiting the Convent of Santa Chiara (where Marie- 
Clotilde was well known, having been there herself 
during her stay at Assisi), the Father told the Sisters 
of the great reputation of sanctity in which the 
Queen had died, and of the numerous cures 
mentioned as having taken place by her intercession. 

In consequence of this Sister Maria-Nazarena 
conceived the idea that she, too, might obtain relief 
in the same way, and she began to pray accordingly. 
One night, being perfectly awake and conscious, she 
was thinking that if her prayers remained unanswered 
she would cease to believe in the sanctity of the 
Queen of Sardinia, when suddenly Marie-Clotilde 
stood by her, with a bright and cheerful countenance, 
and as distinctly as if she had been a living person. 
Then the Sister heard her saying, " Nazarena, trust, 
and fear not." The same thing occurred to her 


three times in succession, always during the night, 
and it was noticed that her tumour was gradually 
disappearing ; within about a month she was entirely 
cured. This was confirmed before the Commission 
by the Sister herself and by other witnesses. 

Since the Church does not expect the faithful to 
accept unhesitatingly such miraculous reports, our 
readers must form their own judgment concerning 
them. Whether the evidence afforded by the docu- 
ments contained in four folio volumes published 
for the use of the Congregation of Rites would 
satisfy the exacting demands of the Society for 
Psychical Research, we must not presume to say. 
But it is, at any rate, remarkable that so many facts 
of that nature, asserted by numerous persons in 
various places during a period extending from 1804 
to 1845, could have been recorded. 

The common character of those facts is no less 
remarkable. They are all, or nearly all, about relief 
afforded to suffering persons. Now we remember 
how devoted to the service of the sick Marie-Clotilde 
was at all times during her life. She was continually 
doing the work of a nurse in her family, and to visit 
the sick was one of her most constant occupations. 
Was she, then, still doing after her death that which 
she had so loved to do in life .-* We can but put 


such questions, and wonder what the answer 
should be. 

Such is, briefly told, the story of Marie-Clotilde's 
life. One could not write a large book about it 
except by introducing facts and descriptions more 
or less indirectly connected with the subject. As it 
is, we fear that we may have sometimes tired our 
readers by insisting on matters of little importance, 
or by dwelling too frequently on certain points in her 
character ; these, however, had to be emphasized 
even at the risk of tiresome repetition, for the beauty 
and power of her life do not consist so much in the 
things she did as in the manner and spirit in which 
she did them ; and it is this very repetition in the 
manifestation of her spiritual gifts which enables us 
to realize and appreciate her surpassing constancy 
and patience in all circumstances and in the midst of 
all trials. 

This sister of Louis XVI. and of Madame Eliza- 
beth is not sufficiently known. Her life presents to 
us an aspect of the Bourbon character which has 
repeatedly manifested itself, in the history of that 
family — at least, since the days of St. Louis. Un- 
fortunately, such hereditary manifestations must 
always be exceptional, and the world is not greatly 


To face p. 240. 


interested in them. Historical memoirs and works 
of fiction deal abundantly with the affaires de coeur 
of Henry IV., the doings of Louis XIV. at Versailles, 
the scandals of the Court of Louis XV. ; there is a 
whole literature on Louis XVI. and Marie- Antoi- 
nette ; but such a life as that of Marie- Clotilde does 
not present the same opportunities for exciting 
narratives and prurient suggestions. 

Yet, surely, if we study in a scientific spirit the 
history of the Bourbons, we require the description 
of such characters as that of Madame Elizabeth de 
France and of her sister, the Queen of Sardinia, in 
order to obtain a complete picture, and to be thus 
enabled to form a more correct judgment. At any 
rate, we cannot leave Marie-Clotilde out in any 
adequate account of the French Revolution, since by 
its deeds in Piedmont it has included her among its 

The graves of her near relatives, disseminated 
as they are over Europe, tell us plainly enough 
of the intensity of the storm by which her own 
frail boat was tossed ashore. Louis XVI.'s remains 
were transferred from the cemetery of the Madeleine 
in Paris to the crypt of St. Denis. In the same 
crypt lies another brother of Marie - Clotilde, 
Louis XVIII. Her third brother, Charles X., is 



buried under the altar of the Franciscan church at 
Goritz in Austria, together with her niece, " the 
orphan of the Temple." Her aunts, Mesdames 
Adelaide and Victoire, died at Trieste. As to her 
sister, Madame Elizabeth, her remains were deposited 
in the cemetery of the Madeleine after her execution, 
and are believed to be there now — that is, in the 
grounds surrounding the present '* Chapelle Expia- 
toire," where the cemetery of the Madeleine was 
situated — but they have never been discovered. 
Marie-Clotilde, as we have seen, found her resting- 
place in the small church of Santa Caterina a Chiaia 
in Naples, far away from the crypt of St. Denis, 
where, as a Princess of France, she had a right to 
a tomb, and from the lofty Superga, near Turin, 
where, by her marriage, she had also a right to 
rest. But long before the day of her funeral her 
choice had been made. Having learnt to despise 
all tokens of earthly greatness, she had chosen for 
herself a place of burial more in keeping with the 
humility and detachment of her life. 

Whatever our creed may be, whatever may be our 
politics, that life has valuable lessons for us all. It 
shows us how unjust, often how criminal, is that- 
fostering of class hatred for political purposes which 
has always been a favourite weapon of the dema- 


gogue, but which, in these days of social unrest, 
threatens to destroy the healthy development of the 
national life even in countries made great by freedom. 
What justice could there be in estimating Marie- 
Clotilde's character by the fact of her birth, or in 
judging of her relations with the poor, the suffering, 
and the evil-minded, merely in the light of her 
exalted station ? Speaking generally, what justice 
can there be in teaching uneducated people to see 
enemies in all those whom pre-existing social con- 
ditions have placed where they did not place them- 
selves ? Surely in Marie-Clotilde we have another 
evidence of the truth that, while heredity may help 
us to explain certain facts, it can never with justice 
be invoked as a sufficient reason for forecasting 
adversely the moral and social worth of any given 

Again, Marie-Clotilde's life reminds us that our 
attitude towards any religious creed should not be 
allowed to create in us a prejudice against its pro- 
fessors. People, good in themselves, often prove to 
be better than their creed. In any case, we must 
judge of them by what they are, not by what we 
think that, given their creed, they ought to be. 

Above all, we learn from her beautiful simplicity, 
from her touching humility, from her trust in the 


power of goodness to overcome evil, the lesson we 
all need to learn, and without which our efforts 
to improve ourselves or to serve others must prove 
unavailing. Such a life as hers, to all outward 
appearance a useless, wasted life, spent in struggling 
against an irresistible current in the pursuit of un- 
practical aims, animated by what many will deem 
to have been, at best, a sincere but false ideal — 
such a life was nevertheless worthy, and even great, 
if we estimate its value, not by any immediate results, 
but by the spirit which inspired it. 


In speaking of Ginguen6, the French Ambassador 
at the Sardinian Court (in Chapters V. and VII.), 
we feel that we have not done full justice to the 
character of the man. We had to refer to him very 
briefly, in order not to interrupt the course of the 
narrative, and we may thus have left the reader 
under an impression which would not be altogether 
right and fair. That Ginguene played his part at 
Turin in a way calculated to give offence and pain 
to the Royal Family is unfortunately true ; that he 
was not much of a diplomatist is certain ; but this 
should not make us forget that in other spheres 
of activity he manifested considerable merit, and 
that there are other aspects of Ginguene's character 
which should not be ignored. 

We shall not refer to the early period of Ginguene's 
life, when, no doubt with generous intentions, but 
hastily-formed opinions, and under influences which 
to a man of his temperament were irresistible, he 
threw himself into the Revolutionary movement. At 
one moment his life was in great danger. Released 

245 32 


from his prison by the 9th Thermidor, we have seen 
him an ambassador at Turin. But soon affairs in 
France are transformed by the action of Napoleon 
Bonaparte. His country is no longer the home 
of freedom ; it has found a master, and that master 
cannot forgive Ginguen^ the reserved and dignified 
attitude which he takes before him. So many of 
his former Republican colleagues have bent the knee 
before the tyrant that Ginguen^'s attitude is all 
the more remarkable and all the more remarked. 
When Fouch6 asked the Emperor for a pension 
for Ginguen6, Napoleon answered that, as that man 
*' had worked for all former Governments, he had 
better work now for his own, and then he would 
see what he could do." 

These words, reported to Ginguen6, stung him to 
the quick. He says in his "Journal" (recently pub- 
lished by Dr. Paul Hazard) : ** As a matter of fact, I 
have never worked for any Government. I have 
filled posts by the help of which I could have made 
a fortune, but I feel no regret at having failed to do 
so. . . . I have served my country, and perhaps the 
cause of freedom, by my writings; there was nothing 
there for any Government. The Emperor is free to 
grant or to deny me what he likes. But let him offer 
me a place which I can honestly accept, and I will 
do under his Government, but not for his Govern- 
ment, what I have done under, noi for, any other." 


In thus speaking Ginguene was certainly sincere, 
and his attitude has shown that he meant what he 
said. Lady Morgan,* who visited him in his re- 
tirement, was much impressed by the dignity and 
serenity of his character in the isolation caused by 
his political antagonism to the rule of Napoleon. 

As a literary man, Ginguene does not certainly 
occupy the first place ; but his work was conscientiously 
done, and his " History of Italian Literature" repre- 
sents immense labour on a subject which, at the time, 
was hardly known at all in France. He was a most 
diligent student, a man of many interests. As a 
member of the Institut de France he wrote many 
reports on many subjects, and always exhibited in 
all he did the most painstaking industry, f 

As a man, Ginguene presents to us a good example 
of the psychology of the end of the eighteenth 
century. Like Voltaire, d'Alembert, or Diderot, he 
is thirsting for all knowledge ; his spirit is that of 
the Encyclopddie. Then we see in him the in- 
fluence of Rousseau, shown in his love of Nature. 

* Lady Morgan, "La France" (Paris and London, 181 7, 
2 vols., tome ii.). 

t On his work at the Institut we have : Notice on Ginguend, 
by Amaury Duval, in tome xiv. of the ** Histoire Littdraire de la 
France "; " Notice Historique sur la Vie et les Ouvrages de 
M. Ginguen^," par M. Dacier (Paris, 1824) ; " Rapports sur les 
Travaux de la Classe d' Histoire et de Littdrature Ancienne," par 
M. Ginguene (Paris, 1807-08). 


He delights in roaming through the Forest of 
Montmorency, as once Rousseau had done, to sit 
under the oaks where he sat, to visit the house 
where he lived. He has many friends in that dis- 
trict so dear to him : Gr^try, the musician ; Cabanis, 
the man of science ; Madame de Condorcet, Madame 
Helvetius, and others who share his political views 
and his philosophical ideals. 

In the midst of his manifold literary occupations 
he finds time for an innocent recreation : he writes 
fables, at first almost in secret, but gradually he allows 
his friends to see some of them ; and encouraged 
by their indulgence, he gives them to the public* 
Some of these compositions are full of spirit and 
thought, some are rather long and laboured ; but 
all make one feel that the writer is animated by a 
constant conviction that man is here below to realize 
himself by doing good, and that he realizes himself 
only in proportion as he endeavours to do good. 

The following lines from his fable " La Fortune 
et le Po^te " may be of interest, and clearly reveal 
the man : 

** Un soir, j'^tais presque endormi ; 
J'entendis frapper k ma porte. 
Ouvrez rae dit-on, notre ami, 
C'est la fortune et son escorte. 

* "Fables Nouvelles, par M. P. L. Ginguen^, Membre de 
rinstitut de France" (Paris, 1810, in i2mo.). 


— Moi, votre ami ! non, s'il vous plait ; 
Meilleur gite je vous souhaite. 

Allez loger chez I'interet : 
Que feriez-vous chez un pobte ? 

— Donne au moins I'hospitalit^, 
A trois de mes soeurs ; I'Opulence, 
La Grandeur, et la Dignite. 

— Je ne le puis en conscience ; 
Je la donne k la Pauvrete. 

— Mais la Gloire, la Renomme'e . . . 

— Pour elles ma porte est fermee. 

— Elles iront chez tes rivaux. 

— Soit : ils auront de la fumee, 
Et je garderai mon repos." 

Ginguen6 was also something of a musician. He 
had written the music for a great many songs by 
Dorat, and his friends wondered sometimes whether 
he might not have been more successful had he 
chosen a musical rather than a literary career. 

Music and poetry had their place in the happy 
home of Ginguene and his wife, the faithful Nancy, 
whom he loved so well. His love for his wife is one 
of the most pleasing traits in his character.* Un- 
fortunately, as he told King Charles- Emmanuel at 

* We may here give the epitaph which Ginguend composed for 
his own tomb : 

" Celui dont la cendre est ici, 
Ne sut, dans le cours de sa vie, 
Qu' aimer ses amis, sa patrie, 
Les arts, I'^tude, et sa Nancy." 


Turin, their union had not been blessed with children. 
So one day they resolved to adopt a little English 
orphan boy named James Parry. That child was 
idolized by them, and each year his birthday was 
celebrated after dinner by some verses of Ginguen^, 
which drew tears from all around the table. Some 
of these verses, such as the following, for instance, 
are still worth quoting : 

" Pour etre horame, sois toujours libre ; 
Sois toujours bon pour 6tre heureux." 

But this notice is already too long for an appendix, 
and we must end. Our chief object was to correct 
any false impression which our too brief remarks 
might have produced in the mind of our readers, 
about a man whose character, in spite of some weak 
points, deserves our respect, even if we cannot alto- 
gether sympathize with his principles or his ideals. 


Adelaide, Madame (daughter of 

Louis XV.), 53, 1 86 
Albany, Countess of, 149 
Alexander I., Czar, 144 
Alfieri, Vittorio, 149, 150 
Angouleme, Due d', 52, 62, 240 
Anselme, General, 64, 65 
Aosta, Due d', 32, 77, 81, 107, 136, 

Aquitaine, Due d', 4 
Arborea, Eleonora of, 133, 134 
Argenson, Marquis d', i 
Artois, Comte d' (Charles X.), 4, 

52, 53, 240 
Augustus II., I 


Badia, Madame, 26, 89, 107, 180, 

184, 198, 199, 207, 234 
Balbo, Count, 104 
Balbo, Chevalier Gaetano, 134 
Barentin, Marquis de, 56 
Beauchene, de, 14 
Beaumont, Abb6 de, 22 
Beauregard, Marquis Costa de, 

Beauvoisin, Bridge of, 22, 23 
Belci, Sister Maria - Christina, 

Berry, Due de (Louis XVL), 4 

Berry, Due de (son of Comte 

d' Artois), 52, 54 
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 86, 95, 139, 

144, 153, 169, 192, 194 
Bourbon, Louis de (King of 

Etruria), 192, 193 
Bourgogne, Due de, 4 
Botta, Abbe, 206, 209, 234 
Brunet, General, 78 

CagHari (Sardinia), 128 
Cantagalli, Sister Maria-Luisa, 

Chablais, Due de, ^^, 78, 84 
Chalembert, Count, 134, 136, 206, 

Charles-Emmanuel IV., 17, 24, 25, 

48,49, 51,92,95, 103. 110,119, 

140, 148, 218, 223, 233 
Charles - Emmanuel, Prinee (of 

Aosta), 139 
Clausel, General, 103, 107 
Clermont-Tonnerre, Comte de, 

Colonna, Prineess (Catherme of 

Savoy - Carignano), 165, 170, 

177, 184 
Cond6, Prinee de, 53, 67 
Conde, Louise de, 53 
Costa, Cardinal (Archbishop of 

Turin), 156 




Dauphin, the (son of Louis XV.), 

I, 3, 8 
Ducis, the poet, 27, 28, 29 

Elizabeth de P'rance, Madame, 5, 

7, 10, 54, 72, 241 
Enghien, Due d', 53 
Escars, Marquis d', 56 
Eymard, d', 103 

Faucigny, Comte de, 56 
Felicity, Princess, 174, 176, 180 
F^nelon (Archbishop of Cam- 

brai), 6, 7, 12, 13 
Ferdinand III. (Tuscany), 123 
Ferronni^re, Marquis de, 56 
Foligno, 154, 155 
Frascati, 165, 166 

G^nevois, Due de, 32, 54, 55, 136, 
141, 171, 185, 188,195,198,208 

Gerdil, Cardinal, 99 

Ginguene, 68, 96, 97, loi 

Goldoni, Carlo, 17 

Graffigny, Madame de, 15 

Grammont de Gourville, Comte 
de, 56 

Grouchy, General, 102, 103 

Hood, Admiral, 79 


Joubert, General, 102, 104, 139 

Kellcrman, General, 78, 80 

Lally-Tolendal, 56 

Lamballe, Princesse de, 165 

Laval, Due de, 56 

L6vis, Comte de, 56 

Loano, Battle of, 85 

Louis, St., 151 

Louis XVI., 18, 52, 54, 66, 240 

Louis XVII., 78 

Louis XVIII., 147, 148, 240 

Louis de Bourbon (King of 

Etniria), 192, 193 
Louise, Madame (daughter of 

Louis XV.), 8, 41, 125 


Maistre, Joseph de, 143, 144 

Queen of Sardinia : Her birth, 
4 ; her character as a child, 9 ; 
learns the Italian language, 17; 
announcement of her marriage, 
18 ; stays at Lyons, 22 ; first 
meeting with the Prince of 
Piedmont, 24 ; married at 
Chamb^ry, 26; arrives at Turin, 
29 ; execution of Louis XVI., 
66 ; of Marie - Antoinette, of 
Madame Elizabeth, 70 ; death 
of her father-in-law, 88 ; depar- 
ture from Turin, no; leaves 
Florence for Sardinia, 126 ; at 
Cagliari, 137 ; returns to Flor- 
ence, 146; Foligno, 154; first 
visit to Rome, 162 ; Frascati, 
164 ; at Naples, 169 ; second 
visit to Rome, 177 ; Caserta, 
186 ; last illness, 214 ; her 
death, 222 ; funeral, 226 ; de- 
clared " Venerable," 235 

Marie - Antoinette, Queen of 
France, 9, 15. 21, 52, 54 

Marie - Antoinette - Ferdmande, 
Queen of Sardinia, 33 



Marie-Caroline, Queen of Naples, 

Marie-Jos^phe of Saxony, i, 3, 8 
Maria- Lesczynska, i, 8 
Maria-Theresa, Empress, 9 
Maria - Theresa, Duchesse 

d'Aosta, 36, 37, 118, 173 
Maria - Theresa, Comtesse 

d'Artois, 52, 55, 61, 66 
Maria - Theresa - Raphaelle, of 

Spain, I, 3 
Marie-Zephyrine, 4 
Marsan, Comte de, 5 
Marsan, Louise de Rohan- 

Guemend, Comtesse de, 6, 16 
Marmora, Chevalier de la, 116 
Massena, General, 84 
Maurienne, Comte de, 32, 136, 

Menard, General, 139 
Mirabeau, Vicomte de, 56 
Miranda, General, yy 
Montesson, Marquis de, 56 
Montferrat, Due de, 32, 77, 80, 

136, 138 
Montmorency de la Rochelam- 

bert, 56 
Morandi, Jean Louis, 60, 71 
Moreau, General, 139 
Morfontaine, Marquis de, 57 

Pan, Mallet du, 86, note 
Paul I., Czar, 139, 144, 194 
Penten^, Dr., 181, 185, 203, 204, 

208, 209, 219, 229, 234 
Pius VI., 98, 123, 124, 157 
Pius VIL, 156, 158, 159, 160, 189 
Poggio Imperiale, 123 
Polignac, Due de, 56 
Polignac, Comtesse Diane de, 56 
Postiglioni, Father Mariano, 215, 

217, 234 
Priocca (Minister of State), loi, 


Provence, Comte de, 4, 27, 29, 

Provence, Comtesse de, 55, 56 
Pulignani, Don Michel, 160 


Robespierre, Maximilien, 85 
Roche-Aymond, Cardinal de la, 

Rohan, Cardinal Louis de, 16 
Rohan- Gu^mene, Prince de, 56 


St. Andrd, Marquis de, loi 

St. Georges, Marquise de, 184, 

St. Germain, Raymond de St. 

Martin d'Agli^, 116, 118, 120, 

174. 175 
St. Marsan, Marquis de, 194, 

St. Thomas, Marquis de, 167 

Saluzzo, 83 

Saorgio, fortress of, 84 

Savigny, Madame de, 57 

Scherer, General, 139 

Seyssel d'Aix, 83 

Sindone (Holy Shroud), 29, note 

Soran, Marquise de, 32, 44 

Souvarow, General, 102, 139, 140 

Strasoldo, General, 77 
Stuper, Clara, 107, iii, 127, 181, 

207, 224 
Suflfren, de, 56 
Superga, 82, note 

Talleyrand, Prince de, 104, 105 

Tarente, Prince de, 56 

Tempia, Abbe, 126, 207, 222, 229 

Tenda, Col de, 84 



Tremoille, Chevalier de la, 56 
Truguet, Admiral, 64, 65 

Usson, Marquise d', 31 

Vaudreuil, Vicomtesse de, 56 
Vaulgrenant, Cotnte de, i 
Victoire, Madame (daughter of 
Louis XV.), 53, 186 

Victor-Amadeus III., King 
Sardinia, 17, 26, 46, 47, 52, 68, 
77, 80, 81, 87, 88, 211 
Vig^e-Lebrun, Madame, 44 
Villahermosa, Marquis de, 138 
Vintimille, Comte de, 56 
Viry, Comte de, 18, 19, 23 
Vitelleschi, Palazzo, 155, 159 


Wallis, General, 85 

Walsh de S^ran, 56 

Wins, General, 78, 79, 83, 85